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Feature Request: Delete but retain selection

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Quite often I need to delete the same area on multiple layers.


Currently, I always have to use a trick: make the selection, add a temporary layer and flood fill the selection as "mask", then delete on the first layer, switch to the mask, magic-wand-select it to "restore" the original selection, switch back to the second layer, delete there, and so on...

That is only necessary because when you delete a selection, not only is the selected area cleared, it is also deselected. It would be really cool to have an option to retain the selection upon deletion by holding Shift to indicate that you want to delete multiple times so you need to retain the selection after clearing the content.

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  • Solution

Ctrl+Alt+Shift+C to Copy the Selection itself, Delete, Switch Layer, Ctrl+Alt+Shift+V to Paste the Selection itself, repeat ad nauseam.

You can even paste the Selection as JSON in any text editor. Example:

  "polygonList": [


Edited by Zagna
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I think that would be a useful feature. Though the current behavior is well-established, so it probably shouldn't be changed, if I had my choice between Erase Selection always clearing the selection or never clearing the selection, I think I'd prefer "never." Clearing the selection as a separate step isn't that difficult.


The ability to save a selection mitigates the problem, though it's somewhat complex, and on occasion, I already have something in the clipboard I'd like to preserve.

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  • 3 weeks later...
On 7/10/2019 at 9:26 PM, BoltBait said:

You can already do this:


Make your primary (or secondary) color transparent.

Select what you want to make transparent.

Press the backspace (or shift+backspace) key.


Yes, I sometimes do that as well when it is a lot of layers, because this approach requires less switching of layers. I still have to "dump" my currently mixed color on a temporary layer though.


I suggested adding a new keyboard shortcut, because introducing a shortcut "Shift+Del" that currently is not doing anything different from pressing "Del" alone is the least invasive change, especially since all it does is NOT doing a second step, so it is in a way "less destructive". So even persons who would for some reason use "Shift+Del" right now all the time would not be disturbed because it doesn't make something they used to do impossible.

Another idea would be to make "Del" consist out of two steps in the history, "Delete" first, "Deselect" second so I could Ctrl+Z to get the selection back.
This is the same behavior that is already used when you press Ctrl+D while drawing a line or shape within a selection. It commits the drawing, then deselects.


In this case "Del, Ctrl+Z" would be my chord to "Delete and retain selection". I'm absolutely fine with that, too.

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There's no need for a new shortcut. You can already do this.


Ctrl+Alt+Shift+C (Copy Selection)


switch to the next layer

Ctrl+Alt+Shift+V (Paste Selection)


switch to the next layer

Ctrl+Alt+Shift+V (Paste Selection)


you get the idea


There are also new shortcut keys in v4.2 for moving between layers (see Edit -> Go to Layer _____).


(If you had read @Zagna's post above you'd already have figured this out.)

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