GIMP: 'move layer' stops working


I'm having intermittent problems with GIMP, where the 'move layer' command suddenly stops working. The mouse pointer changes to the one below:


When I make an explicit selection, e.g. CTRL+A on a layer, then MOVE works again. But normally I can move whole layers without any selection (e.g. Select/None or CTRL+SHIFT+A). This stops working out of the blue and I have no idea why.

It behaves very much like when you press ALT in MOVE mode. Pressing ALT with a selection allows you to move the selection around, as opposed to move the layer. Pressing ALT without a selection gives the same cursor as above, which is perfectly normal. Somehow when my problem starts, it looks as if ALT-mode is stuck and I can't get out.

Note I am a rather seasoned GIMP user and I use keyboard commands a lot, perhaps I switch too fast between commands, but I haven't been able to consistently reproduce it yet. Happens once every few hours or so. Only solution I found so far is to quit GIMP and restart. Other functions continue to work, I can still save etc (luckily).

I'm using GIMP 2.8.2 on Windows.

Thanks for any pointers.

4/5/2017 6:37:00 AM

Accepted Answer

Looks like your move tool is in 'Move selection' mode. Check the Move setting in the tool options (this image is from the docs and shows Move layer mode):

GIMP Move tool options

The Alt key toggles to the 'Move selection' mode (Ctrl does the same for 'Move path'), and is supposed to switch back to 'Move layer' once you let go of the key. If you manage to steal the input focus from the canvas while in this mode, then the tool may remain in 'Move selection' mode.

See the following bug report for an example:

So to answer the question and solve the problem, you should set this back to 'Move layer'.

However, for me in GIMP 2.8.14 the cursor stays like this only until I actually try to use the tool again; it switches back to 'Move layer' mode automatically then.

4/5/2017 6:36:00 AM