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4.2. Move Tool

Revision History
Revision $Revision: 1.39 $ 2006-06-14 j.h

Figure 8.42.  The Move tool in Toolbox

The Move tool in Toolbox

The Move Tool is used to move layers, selections or guides. It works also on texts.

4.2.1. Activate Tool

  • The Move Tool can be called in the following order, from the image-menu: Tools->Transform Tools->Move

  • The Tool can also be called by clicking the tool icon:

    or by the M keyboard shortcut.

  • The Move tool is automatically activated when you create a guide.

    [Note] Note

    Holding down the space bar changes the active tool to Move temporarily. The Move tool remains active as long as the space bar is held down. The original tool is reactivated after releasing the space bar.

4.2.2.  Default behaviour

By default, this tool works on the active layer and the Select a Layer or a Guide option is checked. Let's suppose that your image has more than one layer, a selection and a guide. The mouse pointer takes the shape of the familiar 4-way arrow when it passes over the image elements originating from the active layer; then, click-and-drag will move the active layer. When the mouse pointer is on an image element originating from a non-active layer or on a guide, it looks like a small hand; then, click-and-drag will move this layer or this guide.

To move a selection frame, without moving its content, Use the Ctrl-Alt key-combination. This has the same action as selecting “ Selection” in Affect.

4.2.3. Key modifiers (Defaults)


Holding Alt selections can be moved without altering your image. Only the frame is moved, not its content. If Alt doesn't work try Shift+Alt.

Using Arrow Keys

Instead of using the mouse you can use arrow keys to move the active layer by one pixel. By pressing Shift you move by 25 pixels. This doesn't work with selections.

4.2.4. Options

Figure 8.43.  Move Tool options

Move Tool options

The available tool options for Move can be found by double clicking the Move Tool icon.


Three buttons allow to choose which entity Move tool will act on: Layer, Selection or Path. Options to Tool toggle are somewhat different.

[Warning] Warning

Keep in mind that your Affect choice persists after quitting the tool.

  • Layer: When this option is selected, you can choose, either by clicking on a radio-button or by pressing Shift key, between:

    Pick a Layer or Guide to move: If your image has several layers, they must be visible and have at least a few non-transparent pixels so that you can find them (only the active layer has a dotted border). The mouse pointer turns to a small hand you can use to click on a part of the image that has been created in the layer you want to pick. You must click first on a non-transparent pixel to active the layer and move it.

    The Move tool is used also to move guides. See glossary for Guides.

    To place guides precisely think of Measure tool.

    Move the Active Layer, i.e the layer with a dotted border in the image and highlighted in the Layer Dialog.

  • Selection: one possibility only in this case: Move the selection. Boundaries are moved, not the content.

  • Path: possibilities are the same as for layers: Pick the path to move and Move the active path.

  Published under the terms of the GNU General Public License Design by Interspire