Revision Date: 27 August 2015

Move Tools Move Tools

There are two Move Tools. One moves pixels in a layer or selection. The other moves the selection outline so it covers a different set of pixels.

Move Selected Pixels Move Selected Pixels

This tool allows the user to move, rotate and scale the pixels that are under the current selection. If no selection is active, the tool moves the entire active layer.

Move Selection Move Selection

This tool allows the user to move, rotate, and scale the selection outline. This does not change any pixels on the active layer.  This is useful when refining the bounds of a selection.

When this tool is active, a blue highlight will be added to the selection for greater clarity.


It is critical to understand the difference between the two Move Tools.

Move Selected Pixels

This moves the actual pixels under the current selection.

Move Selection

This one moves the selection outline, leaving the pixels untouched.

Control Nubs

When either Move tool is active, several handles, known as Control Nubs, appear on the edges and corners of the selection:

Handles Handles

Control Nubs are used to transform the shape and size of the selection or layer. Click and drag the nubs to relocate them.


Whenever the cursor changes to a four-way arrow the selection or layer can be dragged. The cursor changes when it is placed inside or well outside the selection or layer.

Move Cursor Move Cursor

Click and drag with the Left Mouse button to move the selection or layer.

Move Selected Pixels Move Selected Pixels
Move Selection Move Selection

Dragging one nub over the one diametrically opposite has the effect of flipping the selection or layer.

Move a copy of a selection

In 4 it is possible to move a copy of a selection.  Simply hold down the Ctrl key while moving, resizing or relocating a control nub.  This will ensure all Move actions are performed on a copy of the current selection.

Move Copy of Selection Move a copy of the current selection

Here the selection circle on the left hand side shows the original selection.  Holding down the Ctrl allows a copy to be dragged to a new location (right selection circle).


When pixels are moved on a layer, the checkerboard pattern that remains is an indication that the region is transparent.  The pattern is a visual cue and not part of the actual image.


Move the mouse over one of the Control Nubs and the cursor will change to a hand. Click and drag to relocate the Control Nubs.  This will resize the selection or layer.


When relocating a nub, hold down the Shift key to maintain the original aspect ratio (height vs. width).  This allows scaling without altering the shape of the selection or layer.

Resize Selected Pixels Resize Selected Pixels
Resize Selection


When the cursor is located in a corridor just outside the bounding rectangle, it changes to a double headed curved arrow.

Rotate Cursor Rotate Cursor

This is the method used to indicate a rotation is now possible: Left click and drag the cursor to rotate the selection or layer about the center of rotation.


The Right Mouse button always accesses rotation - regardless of the location of the cursor.

The center of rotation of the selection or layer is shown when either Move Tool is active.  It looks like a circle with a cross in it and it determines where the selection will pivot when rotated.

Click and drag the rotation point to relocate it. The center of rotation can be moved outside the selection or even moved off-canvas.


While rotating, the angle of rotation is displayed in the Status Bar.
Constrain the angle of rotation to multiples of 15 degrees by holding down the Shift key while rotating.

Rotate Selected Pixels Rotate Selected Pixels
Rotate Selection Rotate Selection