I'm slowly going insane. All other image editing programs have issues, so I switched to GIMP, that at least seemed to have all the features I need. But whenever I try to actually do something with it, it behaves in all kinds of crazy ways.

One example: I open an image, choose the "rectangle select tool", make my selection, then click drag from the middle of that selection and instead of moving the selected region's pixels, I instead move the region itself, the rectangle. Ok, that's unexpected, but there's a "move tool", so I try that. I activate that tool and click drag from the middle of the selection again and finally the pixels move… but also everything around it. It just moves the entire image, completely ignoring my selection. I usually get it working at some point by spamming Ctrl+C and Ctrl+X and then pressing Ctrl+V, but even then it often just randomly disappears later when I copy a different selection. I've also heard to right click and select "Select"->"Float", which is weird, but sometimes works, until it completely disappears again once I do the same with the next selection.

A basic thing like moving a rectangular selection should usually be easy, but I just can't do it. And this theme continues throughout all features of GIMP, for example I can't manage to draw half-transparent pixels, there just is no transparency slider in the color selection (even if the layer has transparency activated).

Do I understand something wrong about the concept of GIMP? Or is there a secret setting somewhere labeled "turn off insanity mode"? Do I have to hold down Ctrl, Shift, Super, AltGr, Fn and Caps Lock while dragging? Is there some "GIMP for dummies" tutorial?

closed as primarily opinion-based by jlliagre, Thomas Dickey, ilkkachu, Stephen Harris, Chris Down Apr 16 at 1:56

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  • I feel your pain. – Andrew Henle Apr 15 at 22:03
  • @AndrewHenle, does GIMP even have an info page? – ilkkachu Apr 15 at 22:09
  • 7
    FWIW, This reads mostly like a rant, not a question. The answer is to read the manual, get familiar with the tool, and stop loaded complaints like mentions of an "insanity mode". Or just switch to another tool if you don't like the one you're trying to use. Though to be honest, you do have an actual question in there somewhere. I'd suggest trying to rephrase it it without the unnecessary venting if you're actually in to find answers, not just let off steam. – ilkkachu Apr 15 at 22:13
  • About GIMP tutorials: gimp.org/tutorials – mature Apr 15 at 22:23
  • Even when I read GIMP tutorials, they usually don't cover some other weirdness, like the disappearing. – Fabian Röling Apr 16 at 6:01

I run my GIMP installation in a non english version. I hope the names, hotkeys still make sense.

  • Make a rectangle selection
  • Cut and paste selection (Ctrl+X and Ctrl+V)
  • On the layer pane (Ctrl+L), right click the "new floating layer" usually on top of the layer list, and select "(convert) to new layer".
  • Now you have created a new layer with your selection which you can move.
  • Move the inserted layer, with the move tool (M) make sure you clicked/selected the correct layer in the layer pane, first (Ctrl+L)
  • When selecting the move tool (by pressing M) you see the move properties below the toolbox icons. You can choose to move the "whole layer" or just a "selection" or by "path".

good luck.

  • My toolbox never shows anything below the tool selection buttons. It's its own window and always stays the same size. But I guess I can try double-clicking that icon, that usually shows some settings. – Fabian Röling Apr 16 at 6:04
  • You can add it from the menu: Window > Dockable dialogs > Tool settings (first entry / Werkzeugeinstellungen). – Michael D. Apr 17 at 12:52
  • Ok, now I finally managed to do it. Selection tool, make selection, Ctrl+X, Ctrl+V, right-click on layer, "to new layer", move tool (apparently no settings needed, not sure what "pick a layer" vs "move the active layer" does), move it, at the end image->flatten image (which I actually did later, because I wanted to swap two selections). Those are 10 actions (clicks, key combos, etc.) for what could have been two mouse drags. But thanks for telling me how it works at least! GIMP can do everything, it's just all way too complicated. Now, how do I draw half transparent pixels?Or do anything else? – Fabian Röling Apr 17 at 16:29
  • Just ask a new question. Or watch some GIMP video tutorials. – Michael D. Apr 18 at 8:54

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