I have Windows 8.1, and the 2.8.22 version of GIMP. I am currently trying to customize a chart for my paint colors. Sometimes GIMP works fine but much of the time when I select an area it won't allow me to do anything - not delete, not copy, not type into the selection. I need to know what I have to do to get GIMP to work all of the time. Please reply in simple terms, I'm a senior and tech talk isn't very easy for me to understand. Thank you,] Bernadine

  • 1
    There isn't enough information in your question as it stands now for diagnosing the problem. The first step is to find a way for others to reproduce the problem you're experiencing; do you have a series of specific steps that lead to the problem? – dsstorefile1 Apr 25 '18 at 22:06
  • 1
    I don't know what I do that makes the difference. Just after I wrote, I was able to cut and paste once and then it went back to before - not letting me cut and paste. I've spent hours just trying to get a simple chart changed and I'm very tired. Had the problem before, those times I just gave up. I've been trying to read the manual but most of it doesn't make sense, I can't even get GIMP to look like the examples. In a white square just below File, I did find another white square that says Clipboard right above it. When I right clicked on it, my selection that I want to move was there. – Bernadine Apr 26 '18 at 0:55
  • 1
    That info about cutting and pasting triggering the problem was really helpful. A pasted image becomes a "Floating Selection" which you should "anchor" (right click on Layers sidebar -> [Anchor Layer]) or turn into a layer (right click on Layers sidebar -> [To New Layer]) so you can continue editing it. – dsstorefile1 Apr 26 '18 at 1:06
  • Replied but couldn't include you, so I'll post it here. Worked on this again for hours moved one item from its original place to another like I wanted. Think I selected the area, Layer>New from Visible, Select>Float, moved the dotted box to the new position, Layer>Anchor. might be able to do it again. Now want to delete the original area I moved, I don't want it there now. How do I do that? Nothing I've tried worked. Want to add some text to what I just moved and that's not working either. Also want to delete text that's just there, nothing to do with things I've already moved. Thank you. – Bernadine Apr 30 '18 at 4:33

Gimp lets you alter pixels that are, at the same time:

  1. within the selection
  2. within the boundaries of the current active layer/channel
  3. not protected by the Color or Alpha locks

For each condition:

  1. a minute selection can be overlooked. You can check if you have any selection by open the Select drop-down menu, if Select>None is not grayed, you have a selection somewhere.
  2. the layer boundaries are shown with a dotted line (View>Show layer boundaries). enter image description here If you need more space, you can use Layer>Layer to image size to extend the layer to completely cover the canvas. Also, make sure that you have a layer selected (blue highlight). Some operations select a channel and your alteration would apply to that instead.
  3. The Color/Alpha locks are the two icons in the Lock line at the top of the Layers list.

enter image description here

In addition, many things are disabled when you have a "floating selection" (or only apply to it), and even more things are disabled in color-indexed images (as indicated by your title bar, typically when you are editing a GIF).

Two check lists:



  • I'm sorry this doesn't make any sense to me at all. !, In the Filters drop down menu, there is no Select>None or anything that says Select at all. 2. In View there is a Show layer boundaries, but nothing happened when I un-/re-checked it. 3. In the Layer menu there is nothing about Color or Alpha. I checked the 2 links. 1. I can't do this I have nothing like the first picture. 2. 4.1 I find nothing that looks like that picture. 4.2 Selection is checked. 4.3 Clicked on the Select all, tried copy/paste, nothing happened. 4.4 Nothing. Tired, making no sense. All I want to do is copy/paste. – Bernadine Apr 26 '18 at 1:37
  • Filters: Sorry I meant Select. Color/Alpha locks: see added screenshot. If your layer is a big as as the canvas, the dotted line for the layer boundary is on the sides of the canvas. – xenoid Apr 26 '18 at 6:43
  • Can you make a screenshot of your Layers list and add it to your question? If you do Select>All and then Copy/Paste, you just duplicate the layer, so visually nothing changes, you just have one ore layer in the Layers list. – xenoid Apr 26 '18 at 6:49
  • I tried to make a screenshot of my document but I don't know how to attach it here. And I don't know what the Layers list is. – Bernadine Apr 29 '18 at 8:38
  • 1
    Comments aren't a good place for more questions. Create a new question, but you may be more comfortable asking questions there. – xenoid Apr 30 '18 at 6:24

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.