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Selections tool - what is it for if it doesn't do anything?


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Hi, 

There is the square selection tool on the left side in Affinity Photo, but apart from that I can select something, there's seems to be nothing I could do with that selection. I want to take out something from a photo and move it to another document, but that doesn't seem to work. So far that selection tool seems to be totally useless to me. What is it that I'm not understanding here? Please help! 

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Hi @Christian Kogler,
Welcome to Affinity Forums :)
Check the type of layer you are working with/have selected in the Layers panel between parenthesis after the layer's name? If it's a pixel layer you can select then copy/paste to a new document directly. If it's an Image layer you have to use a specific command Edit > Copy Merged, then paste as you usually do in the other document. Alternatively you may also convert the Image layer to a pixel layer, right-clicking it in the Layers panel and selecting Rasterise. You can then select and copy/paste as described above. If you are still having issue, please post a screenshot of the app with the Rectangular Marquee Tool selected and the Layers panel visible so we can see what's going on.

Note: Image layers work as a kind of container for the original image data. You can edit/transform them non-destructively through live adjustments/live filters, mask etc but you can't edit them at a pixel level as you can with regular pixel layers. See this video tutorial for more info about image layers versus pixel layers in Affinity. Image layers are created when you drag a file from Finder or Windows Explorer directly to the canvas of an opened document in Affinity apps, when you use File > Place or the Place Image Tool (Designer, Publisher) to place an image int he document.

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7 hours ago, MEB said:

If it's an Image layer you have to use a specific command Edit > Copy Merged, then paste as you usually do in the other document.

Wow! I have been using AP for years but never knew that Copy Merged permitted copying only a selected part of a placed image file!

That said, I think it is not a well named option, but maybe that is just me.

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18 minutes ago, R C-R said:

That said, I think it is not a well named option, but maybe that is just me.

It's Copy Flattened on Windows, if it's the same option that's being discussed.

-- Walt

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12 minutes ago, walt.farrell said:

It's Copy Flattened on Windows, if it's the same option that's being discussed.

I think it is the same option ... but I don't think either name suggests very well how it works with image layers.

Affinity Photo 1.10.5, Affinity Designer 1.10.5, Affinity Publisher 1.10.5;  2020 iMac 27"; 3.8GHz i7, Radeon Pro 5700, 32GB RAM; macOS 10.15.7
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11 minutes ago, R C-R said:

I think it is the same option ... but I don't think either name suggests very well how it works with image layers.

I think that Copy Flattened at least implies there's some rasterization involved, which will be needed to copy selected pixels from an Image layer.

However, it gives no hint that it's going to copy selected pixels. It could just as well copy the entire layer, then rasterize, vs rasterizing a copy of the layer and then selecting based on the active pixel selection and copying only those pixels.

-- Walt

   Desktop: new:  Windows 11 Home, version 21H2 (22000.613) 64GB memory, AMD Ryzen 9 5900 12-Core @ 3.00 GHz, NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3090  (old: 16GB memory, Intel Core i7-6700K @ 4.00GHz, GeForce GTX 970 )
   Laptop:  Windows 10 Home, version 21H2 (19044.1706) 32GB memory, Intel Core i7-10750H @ 2.60GHz, Intel UHD Graphics Comet Lake GT2 and NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 Laptop GPU.
    Affinity Photo 1.10.5 (.1342) and 1.10.5.1342 Beta   / Affinity Designer 1.10.5 (.1342) and 1.10.5.1342 Beta  / Affinity Publisher 1.10.5 (.1342) and 1.10.5.1282 Beta
 iPad Pro M1, 12.9", iPadOS 15.4.1, Apple Pencil 2, Magic Keyboard

  Affinity Photo 1.10.5 (.280) and 1.10.2 (.266) Beta / Affinity Designer 1.10.5 (.21) and 1.10.3 (.19) Beta 

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49 minutes ago, R C-R said:

Wow! I have been using AP for years but never knew that Copy Merged permitted copying only a selected part of a placed image file!

That said, I think it is not a well named option, but maybe that is just me.

Wow, again.  I hadn't a clue what Copy Merged meant, but this is really nice!  And yes, the copied selection shows as a pixel layer.


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