2.2. Using the Layerdialog


Every layer appears in the dialog in form of a thumbnail. When an image has many layers as components then it appears like a list. The upper layer in the list is the first one visible and the lowest layer the last visible, the background. Above the list one can find characteristics related individually to each layer. Under the list one can find managements buttons for the layer list. A right-click in a layer thumbnail opens the layer menu.

Layer attributes

Every layer is shown in the list with its own attributes. The main attribute is the name of the layer itself. You can edit it by a double-click on the name or the thumbnail of the layer. In front of the thumbnail is an icon showing an eye . By clicking on the eye, you toggle whether the layer is visible or not. (Shift-clicking on the eye causes all other to be temporarily hidden.) An other icon showing a chain enables to group layers for operations on multiples layers (for example with the Move tool).

[Tip] Tip

In case of an animation layer GIF or MNG the name of the layer can be used to specify some parameters : Layer_name (delay in ms) (combination mode), for example Frame-1 (100 ms) (replace). The delay set the time during the layer is visible in the animation. The combination mode set if you combine with the previous layer or replace it: the two modes are (combine) or (replace).

Layers characteristics

Above the layer list it's possible to specify some properties for the active layer. The active layer is the one highlighted in blue. The properties are : "Layer mode", "Keep transparency", and "Opacity".

  • Layer modes: The layer mode determines how the layer interact with the other layers. From the combo box you can access to all the mode provided by Gimp. The layer modes are full detailled in the Glossary.

  • Keep transparency: If you check this option the transparent areas of the layer will be keeped, this even if you have checked the Fill transparent areas option for the Bucket fill tool.

  • Opacity: By moving the slider you give less or more opacity to the layer. With a 0 opacity value the layer is transparent and full invisible. Don't mistake with the Layer mask (see chapter Layer mask) that sets the transparency pixel by pixel.

Layer management

Under the layer list a set of buttons allows you to perform some basis operations on the layer list.

  • Edit layer attributs: You can change here the name of the active layer in the list.

  • New layer: You can create here a new layer. A dialog is opened where you have to fill the Layer name, perhaps change default Height and Width choose the Layer fill type which will be the new layer background.

  • Raise layer: You can here put the layer up a level in the list. Press the Shift key to move the layer to the top of the list.

  • Lower layer: You can here put the layer down a level in the list. Press the Shift key to move the layer to the bottom of the list.

    [Tip] Tip

    To move a layer at the bottom of the list, first give a transparency channel to the Backgrpund layer (also called Alpha channel). Right click on the Background layer and select Add Alpha channel in the menu.

  • Duplicate layer: You can create here a copy of the active layer. Name of new layer is suffixed with a number.

  • Anchor layer: When the active layer is a temporary layer (also called floating selection) shown by this icon , this button anchors it in the previous active layer.

  • Delete layer : You can here delete the active layer.