I want to duplicate a selection area in Krita and move it to anywhere I wish. The problem is, I can't do this simple manipulation because it creates an additional layer each time copied and pasted, which is not something I expect for ultra simple drawings such as black-and-white stickman sprite sheet. I have already used clone brush but it is not practical.

  • I don't know too much about Krita, so I can't really say if it has the functionality you're looking for, but in photoshop you can do that with the Move tool by first holding down Alt and then dragging the selection. Maybe that exists in Krita as well.
    – Joonas
    Oct 19, 2015 at 10:53
  • I have tried what you said but it dragged the selection frame with everything else except my desktop :) I was even more comfortable with my own amatour drawing program I wrote with C++ and OpenGL because it was one of the rare image editting programs I used to extensively know about :P Thanks anyway for trying to help, for paying attention to my question. Oct 19, 2015 at 11:08
  • Maybe try gimp? I'm pretty sure it handles pasting very close to how you want it. Krita is more of a drawing/painting application anyways.
    – Joonas
    Oct 19, 2015 at 12:52
  • That was why I prefered krita to gimp. I want to be able to draw things from scratch rather than photo-editing. It makes drawing simple shapes such as rectangle,circle efficiently almost impossible. Like a torture. Thanks for advice. I'll probably also look for other alternatives for drawing/painting on linux. Oct 19, 2015 at 14:48
  • 2
    You could always use mac or windows + photoshop ;) --- For anyone thinking about answering TL;DR summary of the comments: No solution yet.
    – Joonas
    Oct 19, 2015 at 18:26

3 Answers 3


This cannot be done, and quite frankly there is no need for such a feature (pasting on new layer is already a special feature). While you're at it please ignore these "use photoshop" scrubs who think everyone can throw mountains of cash at software they don't even know how to use (or much less even need when there are free alternatives like Krita and GIMP...)

What you can do instead is use the "Merge with layer below" option.

Paste an item onto a new layer (ctrl+v) work it as you will, and then merge it down to the layer below (ctrl+e) problem solved. You can also simply forget the layers are even there (they don't make a difference after you save the file into a format that doesn't support layers like PNG or JPG)

If you do not like this, bring it up for discussion in kritas development forums (see also here) as a feature request.

  • 1
    pasting into a new layer then merging down is not the same thing as pasting into the current layer if your selection includes any non-opaque pixels.
    – Sparr
    May 30, 2016 at 5:17
  • @Sparr yeah it is... Same result anyhow. Also even if you were right, this does not make my answer bad (I did answer that there is no solution; and I did mention the one and only way to have this issue fixed; by bringing it up with the development team).
    – Cestarian
    May 31, 2016 at 9:05
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    No, it's not the same result. The translucent areas will be darker with the layer merging than if the pixels had been replaced in the original layer.
    – Sparr
    May 31, 2016 at 18:55
  • @Sparr this depends entirely on the program and implementation of these features, and since Krita does not have the feature you speak of you cannot deny the possibility that if implemented it would be the same. It may behave as you say in some program that you use, but logically speaking the translucent areas should always get less translucent when you copy and paste it over itself, that is pretty basic...
    – Cestarian
    Jan 7, 2018 at 18:50
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    When you merge two layers, the merge happens on ALL frames of a timeline. That means you must visit all the frames and delete everything from that pasted layer for each frame except the one you want to merge to. That is highly inconvenient and not really a solution. I will rather use traditional pen and paper at that point.
    – Spero
    Dec 2, 2018 at 22:13

This is a terrible workaround, but I have found that when I want to perform this operation I will paste into a new layer, then select the pasted area, then select the original layer, then delete the pasted area, then merge the new layer down to fill the hole.


You can't paste into existing layer in Krita. Sparr's workaround doesn't work in animation.

But there is one other workaround. The idea is to keep that layer visible only for a set of desired frames. After adding the pasted content, copy it into the desired frame using the "Copy frame" context menu option. Then go to the first frame of the animation and remove that pasted layer from the first frame using "remove frame" context menu option. That way, the pasted content will only appear when you want it to. Then once you are done with the pasted content, you can go to the frame where it needs to disappear and choose the "new frame" context menu option.

It isn't very intuitive, and once you remove all existing frames of a layer, the layer will lose its contents.

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