Revision Date: 14 April 2021

Move Tools  Move Selected Pixels  Move Selection outline

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.


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

Move Selected Pixels
This tool moves the actual pixels under the current selection.
Move Selection outline
This tool moves the selection outline, leaving the pixels untouched.

Move Selected Pixels Move Selected Pixels
M once

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

Click and drag to move the pixels to another location. As seen in the image below, once the pixels have been moved an area of transparency will be left in place of the moved pixels.  This is denoted by the grey and white checkerboard pattern.

Move Selected Pixels
Moving selected pixels with Move Selected Pixels


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 Selection Move Selection
M twice

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.

Click and drag the selection outline to relocate it.

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

Move Selection
Move the selection outline with Move Selection (leaves the image untouched)

Control Nubs

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

Selection control nubs

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

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

Move Cursor Move Cursor

Whenever the mouse pointer changes to a four-way arrow, the layer or active selection 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 Icon Four Way Arrow icon

Whenever the four-way arrow icon is shown, the layer or active selection can be dragged to a new location.

Move Icon
Move Icon

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

Rotation Rotation icon

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

The double headed arrow cursor is used to indicate a rotation is 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

Move or Rotate a copy of a selection

Move or rotate a copy of a selection by holding down the Ctrl key while manipulating the selection with the mouse.  All Move actions will be performed on a copy of the active selection, leaving the original pixels untouched.

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 key allows a copy to be dragged to a new location (right selection circle).


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
Resize Selection

Resampling Modes

When rotating or resizing, there are three resampling modes available via the Tool Bar.

Rotation resampling modes
Resampling modes

The default mode is Bilinear. Bicubic resampling can produce higher quality results but it is more CPU-intensive. Nearest Neighbor produces a more pixelated result.