GIMP applies a floating layer whenever I paste content into a document.

Unlike Photoshop, this requires me to create a new layer each time which is an annoyingly contrived and confusing process.

How can I disable this intermediary and completely unnecessary floating layer stage and simply allow pastes to paste as a new layer by default?

  • You can redefine the keyboard shortcuts, if this is what helps you. Jun 23 '15 at 1:28
  • @MichaelSchumacher Are you referring to that action that follows the paste or are you inferring that I can create a shortcut that will pasted AND create a new layer simultaneously, like a macro? Jun 23 '15 at 8:17
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    The latter, no macro needed - your question implies that you are aware of the Paste as New Layer menu command, and just didn't know that keyboard shortcuts can be assigned. See jsbuenos answer for details about how to do this. Jun 23 '15 at 16:53

You may use edit → paste as → new layer; that will immediately add the pasted content as a new layer.

You can of course change the shortcut binding of Ctrl + V to call paste as new layer instead of ordinary paste. You can either go through the “traditional” menu shortcut editor, or enable the preferred method of dynamic keyboard shortcuts (edit → preferences → interface, check enable dynamic keyboard shortcuts) – then you can just hover over a menu entry, and press a new shortcut for it, without the hassle of the shortcut editor.

  • ctrl+v is more common for paste Jun 23 '15 at 16:50
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    @MichaelSchumacher Most likely a typo. Edited. Jun 28 '15 at 14:53
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    An amazing workaround, thank you from the 2021 :) Jan 18 '21 at 14:08

As annoying as it may be, I'm unaware of a method of disabling it.

Alternatively, You can anchor the floating layer to the current layer by pasting the image on to your canvas, clicking on (for example) the background of the canvas, and pressing CTRL+H. This will automatically place the floating layer on to another layer. Alternatively you can right click the floating layer in the layers panel and select "Anchor layer". The floating layer will be placed on to the layer below it within the layer panel.


  • Thanks but I'm looking for a measure that will eliminate any of the solutions you've provided. I expect to hit CTRL + V and that's it, my paste is automatically assigned to a new layer as it should be. That being said, I understand the intent of your answer in providing me the "next best thing" and I appreciate it. Jun 23 '15 at 8:20
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    @ClarusDignus This will do exactly what you want, but you will need to use another shortcut. You could assign CTRL+V but would need to remove that shortcut from the normal paste. Go into EDIT > Keyboard Shotcuts > Assign a shortcut to Paste As New Layer.
    – Jack
    Jun 23 '15 at 8:52

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