I would like to separate the fill from the shape.

So, I would like to select the shape (the border of a selection) in layer A, and fill this selection with color in another layer B.

Is it possible without duplicate the layer?

Thanks in advance,


  • 1
    Selections in GIMP are not tied to the layer in any way. You just have to make sure that the new layer is big enough (layers of a fixed size are unfamiliar to some users) and above the other layer (layer stacking order seems to be unfamiliar to some users as well). Jun 21, 2015 at 18:38

1 Answer 1


It is possible without duplicating the layer. You can do the following.

  1. On the layer you want to fill, select the area you want to fill. You can use the fuzzy select tool(Fuzzy select tool) for this.

Make selection

  1. Create a new transparent layer and use the bucket fill tool(Bucket fill tool) to fill the selected area by clicking within that area.

New transparent layer Fill the selected area

The result is a new layer with just the color of the shape and everything around isn't affected because of the transparency. In some situations you can also just select the background and invert the selection.

This workflow can then be applied to the question by doing a border selection(Select->Border) and filling the selection on a new transparent layer to create the image below.

enter image description here

  • 1
    Your example could work a bit better if you didn't fill the full shape, but used e.g. Select->Border on it before filling. Might or might not be what is being asked for, but it could illustrate the workflow a bit better. Jun 21, 2015 at 18:41
  • @Michael Schumacher. That's true I misinterpreted the question slightly. I have fixed it. Thanks. Jun 21, 2015 at 19:14

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