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How do I move a layer to a specific XY position within the canvas in Gimp?

Currently, the only way I can find is to just eyeball it with the guides and/or mouse position. I want to specify the exact X and Y coordinates.

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I want to know this too, or how to do it in Photoshop. I made a question for that.… – Jonny Oct 12 '11 at 10:21
Does not seem to be (easily) possible in GIMP without using Python code as detailed below: – SabreWolfy Dec 2 '12 at 9:00
Yes it is possible. Read my answer. – David Jun 18 '15 at 11:40

I am afraid that Gimp doesn't include it because it is tedious. It is simply not the appropriate way of aligning elements when you are designing, though I recognize that sometimes it is useful as a short-cut. Anyway, the best (correct) approach is with guides:

A) Step 1 - Create the guides

  1. Go to Image->Guide->New Guide
  2. Specify if you want and horizontal or vertical guide
  3. Specify the number of pixels
  4. Repeat the procedure for another horizontal or vertical Guide (you can also do more guides to specify width and height)

Alternatively, you can also create the guides dragging from the rulers:

  1. Drag down (starting from the top ruler) a guide to the Y coordinate you want.
  2. Drag down (starting from the left ruler) a guide to the X coordinate you want.

B) Step 2 - Move the canvas

You can use the moving tool.

  1. Select your Layer
  2. Go to Tools -> Transform Tools -> Move
  3. Drag the Layer to the guides. Gimp will give you a hand with the exact pixels.

One of the design principle is that you should have things align in your whole project. Reducing the number of alignments (guides) helps you getting a cleaner design. I think this is why gimp does not include a tool to specify the exact coordinates. If you want to follow this design principle specifying exact coordinates one by one becomes just a tedious labour.

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Exactly what I need - thanks. Use case: creating a wallpaper for dual-head setup from two other wallpapers. :) – smbear Dec 10 '13 at 11:21
Great solution. Thanks. – hadi Feb 23 '15 at 5:04

There is a script to do this that can be download from the GIMP Plugin registry. It is called:

Move Layer To (download).

To install:

  1. Move the script to %USERPROFILE\.gimp-2.8\scripts directory on Windows, ~/Library/Application Support/GIMP/2.8/scripts on OS X or ~/.gimp-2.8/scripts on Linux. (Official instructions)

  2. Clicks Filters -> Script-Fu -> Refresh scripts.

  3. The new menu item will appear at the bottom of the Layer menu Move to.

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Nice first answer! – slm Jan 7 '13 at 4:21
Almost perfect! Would be nice if the parameter dialog used the layer's current coordinates as the default values. – Oliver Giesen Jan 25 '13 at 23:39
You need to download that .scm file and put it into %USERPROFILE%\.gimp-2.8\scripts on Windows, then do Filters->Script-Fu->Refresh Scripts and it will be available as the bottom most item Layer->Move To – DarkWalker Jan 10 '14 at 20:00
Not exactly "move a layer", but related: there is " -- Paste the clipboard at location X,Y" from the post: Pasting at a specific location - – sdaau Jul 17 '14 at 7:35
Davids answer does the job without a script. – gentlesea Oct 6 '15 at 8:41

I'm using GIMP 2.6.11.

With these lines of Python the active layer can be moved to an absolute position, like (32, 64), from the Python console:

>>> x_new = 32
>>> y_new = 64
>>> img = _[0]
>>> layer = img.active_layer
>>> x_off, y_off = layer.offsets
>>> pdb.gimp_layer_translate(layer, x_new - x_off, y_new - y_off)

Alternatively, if you only want to move the content of the layer:

right-click, Layer > Transform > Offset

or Shft+Ctrl+O

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This causes the pixels within the layer to move, rather than the layer itself - I need to move the actual layer. What you suggested may work if the layer is the same size as the canvas, or at least big enough not to clip any non-transparent pixels within the layer. – Scott Jul 7 '11 at 19:55
@Scott: I see - sorry I didn't find an easier way, but at least I figured out how to move the layer to an absolute position with some lines of Python. – Nicolas Kaiser Jul 7 '11 at 21:32
Line three of you code should be img=gimp.image_list()[0]. The _ didnt work for me. – apple16 Jul 23 '12 at 21:58
  1. Pick the alignment tool.
  2. Make it "Relative to" "Image".
  3. Click on your layer (in the canvas).
  4. Enter X in the "Offset" field.
  5. Click on "Distribute" / Left arrow.
  6. Enter Y in the "Offset" field.
  7. Click on "Distribute" / Up arrow.

That's it!

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This work for negative offset. – Loda Nov 2 '15 at 15:33
Note that it seems that you can only select the top visible layer — that is, one has to hide layers on top of the layer to be aligned (gimp 2.8.16). – Skippy le Grand Gourou Jul 22 at 19:53

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