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chippwalters

How to copy/drag in the same layer?

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Hey folks,

I've basically quit using Pshop for the past 6 months or so, but there's one hiccup in Photo which has me stumped.

Here's something I do ALL THE TIME in Photoshop. I just use the marquee or box select to "erase" stuff, copy drag, move stuff, etc.. Anyone know how this works in Affinity?

Here's a video showing in more detail:

https://youtu.be/WcXcE6tKMyU

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One simple way you can do what you ask for is to use the Copy/Paste functions as shown in my attached GIF.
However, there may be some better ways which I would be interested in learning too.

cover-and-move.gif

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7 hours ago, chippwalters said:

Here's something I do ALL THE TIME in Photoshop. I just use the marquee or box select to "erase" stuff, copy drag, move stuff, etc.. Anyone know how this works in Affinity?

A few things to be aware of in Affinity:

  • A "marching ants" selection is not a part of any layer or object. It just defines a pixel area of the document. So if there is no layer selected in the Layers panel, it won't actually select anything in the document.
  • Because it defines a pixel area, it will not work as expected (if at all) on anything besides a "(Pixel)" layer. So for example, if a placed "(Image)" layer is selected in the Layers panel & you press the Delete key, the entire "(Image)" layer will be deleted, not just whatever area the "marching ants" selection encloses. Likewise, copy & paste would just create a copy of the "(Image)" layer as a new layer.
  • All four marque selection tools & the Freehand Selection Tool have four "Mode:" options that can be selected on the Context toolbar. These modes are "sticky," meaning that while any documents are open the app remembers which mode each of these tools is in. So if one of these tools won't create a "marching ants" selection, check its Mode -- it is probably set to Subtract.
  • Related to the above, only in the "New" mode can you move the "marching ants" selection itself around in the document, & only when the pointer is inside the selection area. (The pointer changes to a 4 way arrow to indicate this.) This is different from moving around a layer's pixels contained in the selected area. That is done using the Move Tool.

Affinity Photo 1.8.2, Affinity Designer 1.8.2, Affinity Publisher 1.8.2; macOS Mojave 10.14.6 iMac (27-inch, Late 2012); 2.9GHz i5 CPU; NVIDIA GeForce GTX 660M; 8GB RAM
Affinity Photo 
1.8.2.174 & Affinity Designer 1.8.2.4 for iPad; 6th Generation iPad 32 GB; Apple Pencil; iPadOS 13.3.1

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To add an extra variation to my original answer you can also use Duplicate Selection (CTRL+J) instead of Copy/Paste to get a copy of what’s inside the selection. Remember to Deselect after the duplication otherwise you can get some strange things happening.

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Thanks, Gary and R C-R, for taking the time to explain. I am able to do all that you say, but it is still a very awkward and time consuming task in Affinity Photo.

I can marquee select an area, and hold down the control key to move the area, but to copy the area, one would expect the CTRL + ALT would do that but it doesn't. Copy/paste and CTRL + J actually create a new layer with the marquee selection.

This then requires this rather awkward and time consuming workflow:

1. Select marquee tool.

2. Select pixel area

3. Copy/paste (or CTRL + J)

4. Select the selection arrow tool

5. Click on the new layer and move to desired position.

6. Select both layers

7. Flatten selected layers

So, I suspect it would be much easier if Affinity Photo would support CTRL + ALT.

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3 hours ago, chippwalters said:

Copy/paste and CTRL + J actually create a new layer with the marquee selection.

Copy & paste alone will do that. There is no need to use CTRL+J.


Affinity Photo 1.8.2, Affinity Designer 1.8.2, Affinity Publisher 1.8.2; macOS Mojave 10.14.6 iMac (27-inch, Late 2012); 2.9GHz i5 CPU; NVIDIA GeForce GTX 660M; 8GB RAM
Affinity Photo 
1.8.2.174 & Affinity Designer 1.8.2.4 for iPad; 6th Generation iPad 32 GB; Apple Pencil; iPadOS 13.3.1

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You don’t need to flatten the layers if you don’t need to; only when you have to. Sometimes it is better to just leave them as separate layers as that can make it easier to manipulate them.
I’ve attached a short video showing one possible workflow for the sort of thing you showed in your video. Apologies that the menu choices do not show in the video but I haven’t yet figured out how to make that happen in the Windows 10 Game Bar.
Basically I use CTRL+J to create copies of sections of the image (you see them appear in the Layers Panel), flatten one of the layers in the button to give it a new background, and then move things around. It’s a fairly easy and quick procedure.

I’ve also asked whether the Move Tool should have clone functionality for pixel selections (as it says it does in the status bar) which might speed things up a bit. You can follow that discussion here: https://forum.affinity.serif.com/index.php?/topic/105349-should-i-be-able-to-clone-what’s-in-a-pixel-selection-with-the-move-tool/

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1 hour ago, GarryP said:

I’ve also asked whether the Move Tool should have clone functionality for pixel selections (as it says it does in the status bar) which might speed things up a bit.

I have wondered about what the "clone" feature that the status bar refers to actually does (or is supposed to do), because it does not seem to clone anything.

I am a Mac user, if that makes any difference.


Affinity Photo 1.8.2, Affinity Designer 1.8.2, Affinity Publisher 1.8.2; macOS Mojave 10.14.6 iMac (27-inch, Late 2012); 2.9GHz i5 CPU; NVIDIA GeForce GTX 660M; 8GB RAM
Affinity Photo 
1.8.2.174 & Affinity Designer 1.8.2.4 for iPad; 6th Generation iPad 32 GB; Apple Pencil; iPadOS 13.3.1

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Mostly this boils down to if you can do these copy operations without layers. With AP you cannot, but it is really easy to copy selection with CMD-J and merge it back with CMD-E. It is the between these operations which is not too smooth as you cannot just press CMD to get temporary arrow tool, you have to switch to it with V.

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