I'd like to directly set (i.e. type in actual coordinates of) the position of my layer in the image, like you can with the selection box:

Directly set selection box position

(Not the size, but that would also be cool)

Is this possible? Thanks

8 Answers 8


I see that those answers are a bit old. This instructions are for Gimp 2.10. Once you have created your layer, right click on it. Choose Edit Layer Atribute.

layer right click menu

Then a dialog appears

Edit Layer Atribute Dialog

Alter the offset values to the position you want your layer on the background image.

  • 1
    Hi @CaribeGirl, welcome to Graphic Design SE! It would appear you have accidentally created multiple accounts. Please go to our help section and contact Stack Exchange to have this issue fixed.
    – Welz
    Commented Jan 18, 2019 at 19:55
  • Yes. And since you can do arithmetic operation in the number entry fields, you can also shift the layer by some known quantity, for instance to shift it right 30px and up 50px you could set Offset X: 75+30 and Offset Y: 250-50.
    – xenoid
    Commented Jan 18, 2019 at 22:10
  • 1
    This is the CORRECT answer.
    – TARKUS
    Commented Jan 5, 2021 at 12:10

I was looking for an answer to this, which is why I came upon this question. The closest solution I could find is this:

Click on the top ruler and drag down a guide to the Y coordinate you want.

Click on the left ruler and drag right a guide to the X coordinate you want.

Use the move tool to drag the layer to the approximate position you want it. It will snap to the rulers.

  • 2
    This is definitively the way to do it, it makes you follow good practices of design... just read these in a design book :P
    – toto_tico
    Commented May 16, 2013 at 4:55
  • Drag to the "approximate position you want"? That's a disappointment. In Adobe Fireworks, for example, you can specify the exact x and y coordinate. We should be able to do this more precisely in Gimp.
    – TARKUS
    Commented Jan 5, 2021 at 12:05
  • This answer is obsolete. See the much nicer 2.10 one (currently still shown below... please upvote it)
    – gps
    Commented Feb 12, 2021 at 21:44
  • approximate This doesn't sound like a good practice.
    – Sandburg
    Commented Mar 8, 2022 at 9:53

Use the "Align" tool.

  • Start the Align tool (enter image description here)
  • Click on your layer (it should get four small squares in the corners)
  • In The Tool options dialog:
    • Set Relative to to Image
    • Go to the Distribute section
    • In the Offset field enter the X coordinate
    • Click the enter image description here icon
    • In the Offset field enter the Y coordinate
    • Click the enter image description here icon

In Gimp 2.10, see @CaribeGirl's solution.

  • This works for me. I had to convert dimensions to pixels manually, but once I did that I got the layer where I wanted. Commented Apr 4, 2018 at 5:33
  • I had a transparent layer on top of the layer I wanted to align, so I first had to hide that layer, as described in graphicdesign.stackexchange.com/a/37608/134698 .
    – thomasa88
    Commented May 30, 2020 at 9:54

Well, I was hoping to come here to find a better solution than the one I had used originally, but the way I usually do it is to use the rectangular marquee tool, along with a cut/paste of the layer I want to move. Basically, I follow these steps:

  1. Cut the entire layer I want to move to an exact position.
  2. Make an approximate rectangular marquee (doesn't matter how much bigger/smaller it is than the thing you want to place somewhere, we can set the width and height).
  3. Set the x and y position of the marquee to the position I want to place the layer.
  4. Set the width and height of the marquee to the width and height of the layer I just cut. (sometimes I have guide layers, and used a rectangular marquee that was precisely the size of the layer I wanted to move, to begin with, so you may not always need this step).
  5. Paste the layer, and convert the pasted item to a layer. It should now be in the precise position I wanted it to be.

Again, I wish there were a simpler way, but this way is the most accurate and reliable, and the least time-consuming, AFAIK.

  • 1
    I would argue that the alignment tool (with alignment relative to image, and then select the layer and distribute top with the offset set to the desired vertical coordinate, and then distribute left after changing offset to the desired horizontal coordinate) is simpler then cutting, creating a rectangle, and pasting into it, but both are unnecessarily complicated. I do wish "move" just had text boxes that you could type coordinates into. Usually I move it by hand, keeping an on the information bar.
    – AmeliaBR
    Commented Jan 19, 2014 at 21:10
  • That's actually a really good idea! Much better than what I'd worked with. Obviously still not as good as simply entering the position you want with the move tool, but still! Thanks! Commented Jan 31, 2014 at 19:18

You can't. Sorry :) GIMP simply doesn't have controls for that.

  • oh well... hopefully 2.8 will have this :)
    – Aralox
    Commented Apr 2, 2012 at 0:39
  • It will not, sorry :) Commented Apr 19, 2012 at 3:12
  • 1
    It is not possible in GIMP to manually specify the position of a layer? Similar question here: superuser.com/questions/307368/…
    – SabreWolfy
    Commented Dec 2, 2012 at 9:00
  • The accepted answer and other answers here show multiple ways to do this.
    – Scott
    Commented Jan 26, 2020 at 15:01

OK this is a bit of a hacky way of going about it, but it gets pixel-perfect positioning. I had a layer that was 30px by 30px and I wanted to add it at 500,500 in a larger image. I made a new transparent image, sized at 530px by 530px; pasted my small layer into it and then used the Align tool to position it at bottom-right. I then pasted this 530px by 530px layer onto my original large image and used Align to position it at top-left... :o)


Try using guides. Navigate to Image > Guides > New guide... Make it horizontal and enter your desired Y coordinate. Now do the same but make it vertical and put your x coordinate. Now use the move tool and it should snap to the guide. Hope i helped :)


Have you tried the Move Tool, or Alignment Tool? From the Move Tool select "Move the active layer" and drag your layer where ever you want.

  • 1
    I did indeed try the move tool, but it doesnt allow me to type in exactly what position i'd like the layer to be at. The alignment tool does have an offset value though, and thats probably the closest ive gotten to a solution so far - thanks :) ill wait a little while before I mark this as answered, just in case there is actually a proper way to do it
    – Aralox
    Commented Apr 1, 2012 at 4:37
  • Oh, I thought you wanted to move it by hand.
    – Connor
    Commented Apr 1, 2012 at 14:29
  • I just had this exact same issue and this solution worked for me. I was just wanting the layers to be centered, so after setting a guide at 50% both vertically and horizontally, I used this method and was able to center up the two layers that I needed. This can also be used for non centered items in the same manner. Make sure snap to guides is on and then use this method to get the exact positioning after setting up the appropriate guides. Commented Nov 29, 2016 at 13:34

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