How to View the Layers List in GIMP

By Darrin Koltow

The image manipulation program Gimp has a set of tools that enable you to compose a single image from several images stacked atop each other. One such tool is the list of your image's layers, which the Layers dialog box displays. Each item in this dialog box represents a different layer in your image. Because layers are so useful in managing images, Gimp offers several ways for you to display the Layers list. As is true with many other commands in Gimp, you can display the Layers list with a shortcut key. You can also call up the list with menu commands.

Step 1

Click the "Window" menu, followed by clicking "Recently Closed Docks." Click "Layers" to display the Layers window. Gimp documentation refers to dockable dialog boxes as "Docks." "Dockable" means the window can be parked or attached to an edge of the main application window, such as the right or left edge.

Step 2

Click "Window," "Dockable Dialogs," "Layers" to open the Layers window. This shows another way of viewing the list of layers in your image.

Step 3

Press and hold down the "Ctrl" key, then press the "L" key. The Layers dialog box appears. This step shows you the keyboard shortcut for displaying the list of layers.

Step 4

Click the "Windows" menu, followed by clicking the "Dockable Dialogs" submenu.

Step 5

Click any of the commands beside "Layers." For example, click "Patterns" to display the dialog box for selecting patterns.

Step 6

Click the small arrow near the top right of the dialog box that appears. Gimp displays a context menu, one of whose items is "Add Tab." The Add Tab command lets you add other dialog boxes, in the form of panes, to the existing dialog box.

Step 7

Click the "Add Tab" item to display possible dialog boxes you can add to the one you chose in step 5. The Layers dialog box appears in this list.

Step 8

Click the "Layers" item. Gimp adds a new tab to the top left of the current dialog box. Click the tab to view the list of layers.

Step 9

Click again on the new "Layers" tab, and then drag the mouse away from the dialog box hosting the "Layers" tab. The Layers dialog box peels off and become a dialog box that's separate from the box that was hosting it.