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Copy from marquee copies entire layer, not selection

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I just purchased Affinity Photo and am a transplant from Photoshop. I just failed my first experiment with the software, and I feel like an idiot.

I have an image with a single layer. I want to make a rectangular selection of pixels and copy/paste that into a new layer. So I do the following:

  1. Open an image
  2. Choose the Rectangular Marquee tool
  3. Select a small area of the image
  4. Edit>Copy
  5. Create a new pixel layer and select it to make it active
  6. Edit>Paste

These steps are identical to what I would do on Photoshop. However, instead of pasting the selection into the new layer, it duplicates the entire image into a new layer.

I tried pasting the selection into a new document, but it does the same - copies the entire image into a new layer in the second document.

All the marquee tools have the same behaviour. I have noticed that when I paste the copied selection into a new app, it's also pasting in the entire image layer.

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That should not happen when you open an image.

When you have existing document and you add (place, drag&drop) an image to it, it will be placed as image layer, which means you can do all kinds of operations to it nondestructively and it keeps its original resolution within the file. It also means you cannot copy&paste a part of it, only the whole layer. That is problematic behaviour and I wish there was some built-in automatic procedure around it.

You can rasterize the placed layer to document resolution and after that it is normal pixel layer and selections can be copy pasted normally.

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11 hours ago, Fixx said:

That is problematic behaviour and I wish there was some built-in automatic procedure around it.

There is a long discussion about that here. As I mentioned in this post, creating an "automatic" procedure for all but the simplest documents would be problematic.


Affinity Photo 1.8.3, Affinity Designer 1.8.3, Affinity Publisher 1.8.3; macOS Mojave 10.14.6 iMac (27-inch, Late 2012); 2.9GHz i5 CPU; NVIDIA GeForce GTX 660M; 8GB RAM
Affinity Photo 
1.8.3.180 & Affinity Designer 1.8.3.2 for iPad; 6th Generation iPad 32 GB; Apple Pencil; iPadOS 13.3.1

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