I have been reading all these GIMP layer-related posts
for quite some time now and think it is high time I
show you the picture the way I see it.
First off, the purpose of the layer boundary is to let
you know the position of the layer in context so that
you can align it the way you want. As far as I know,
you can't have multiple-size layers in Photoshop.
Having a smaller layer for an image part conserves
less memory so that it can be used by other more
important GIMP tool-operations such as those offered
by the various filters. Floating selections are
important because these facilitate creating new layers
according to the size of the pasted selections. You
can __anchor__ the floating selection on a new layer
by pressing Control-N while in the layer dialog window
or directly pressing the new-layer button of the
layer-dialog window. That will anchor the floating
selection onto a new transparent layer whose size will
be that of the selection. Simply create a new layer,
paste your selection on the new layer and select
anchor-layer option (from the layers context menu or
by pressing the anchor button in the layers dialog or
by just clicking anywhere in the layer if you have
rectangular-selection tool active) if you want your
floating selection pasted onto an image-sized new
The yellow-black layer boundary can be shown/hidden by
turning off/on the image/view/Toggle Selection (in
previous GIMP versions) or view/Toggle Layer Boundary
in new versions of GIMP.
As far as Photoshop is concerned, what I have found so
far is that Photoshop is __easier__ but does not have
as many parameters for many tools/features as GIMP
has. It is a matter of bottom-line: whether you want
to be a tool-expert or a digital artist. Photoshop is
great for its print-media support (capability to
create new CMYK Images) and ease of features while
GIMP has a lot of options to help you re-touch/compose
the image the way you want it. Further, GIMP
books/tutorials (as I have found) are far more
comprehensive and illustrative (for example, "Grokking
the Gimp") than those of Photoshop. I usually work in
GIMP but read all Photoshop tutorials as well.
Lastly, GIMP is FREE while you have to pay for
Photoshop. I am duly thankful and grateful to all the
I hope my response answers most of your questions.
Do you Yahoo!?
New and Improved Yahoo! Mail - Send 10MB messages!
Gimp-user mailing list