I wonder if there is a way in GIMP to display the distance in pixels I have moved something with the move tool. When I know the distance I want to move (a guide or a floating selection ect.) it really feels stupid having to do the math manually before grabbing it: now it's at X;Y and I want to move it 57 pixels to the left, so that is... very tiring and unprofessional...

Let me know if you know a better way to do this.

3 Answers 3


EDIT: This works when moving layers, selections, and paths...but not when moving guides.

GIMP displays the X,Y delta information in the Statusbar (View>Show Statusbar) at the bottom of the screen while the move tool is actively in use:

enter image description here

Sometimes other status bar information (like the "File Saved to..." information) will monopolize the status bar for a few seconds. But the normal status bar display for the move tool is the current layer name (when not actively moving) and the delta info (when moving).

Hopefully that helps!

  • You are right, it does display X,Y delta information when moving elements with "move the active layer" selected, but to move a guide I have to select "pick a layer or guide" to move it and there it does not show delta information. In my case I was moving a guide and was missing the delta information.
    – Booth
    Sep 5, 2016 at 17:21
  • Oh! You're correct. The method I described works for moving layers, selections, and paths...but not guides. I don't know of a way to fix this–perhaps another poster does? Sep 5, 2016 at 17:50
  • This would make for a nice feature request. If you'd like to file it yourself, start at: bugzilla.gnome.org/… Sep 5, 2016 at 19:17
  • Hi Michael! I've filed a bug here bugzilla.gnome.org/show_bug.cgi?id=770911. I usually avoid filing bug reports (since I'm using custom MacPorts build with some crazy bugs that don't show up in mainline), but hopefully this one is useful. Sep 5, 2016 at 19:36
  • You could keep an unmodified build around, too. We value bug reports by clueful users (and having custom builds easily qualifies you as such). Sep 6, 2016 at 14:20

You can do this with the Measure tool:

  • Click on the current guide
  • Drag towards new position
  • Depress Control to force exact vertical/horizontal
  • Adjust position, watching the measured distanced on the status bar at the bottom
  • Release button (but don't move)
  • Depress Control/Alt/Ctrl+Alt and re-click to create a horizontal/vertical/both guide at that point
  • Then erase the old guide if needed.

Note: with some Linux desktop managers the Alt-click is captured and cannot be used, you have to use Alt+Control+Click and remove the horizontal guide.

  • Excelent. I'd have never guessed I can create guides with the measure tool by just Ctrl/Alt + re-click. This is very convenient.
    – Booth
    Sep 7, 2016 at 5:59

The feature you seek is the Offset Command

  1. Select a layer or a selection on a layer
  2. On the Layer menu, hover over Transform and then click Offset.
  3. Enter the change in X, Y.
  4. Click OK.
  • This is useful, but does not work with offseting guides, does it?
    – Booth
    Sep 7, 2016 at 5:27

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