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LayerGroups subsystem for Gimp

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LayerGroups subsystem for Gimp

New version 1.0a, uploaded June 30, 2009

LayerGroups is a comprehensive layer groups subsystem for GIMP. It allows the creation of groups and subgroups of layers without limitation, based on the layer names. It allows you to hide or show many layers simultaneously, link or unlink them, rename them, delete them, duplicate them in the same image or to another image, move them up or down in the layer stack (raise or lower) in relation to a specific reference layer, generate external image files (for example png, gif, jpeg etc) from each of the layers of the group, and several other operations.

The selection of layers for the group can be enhanced with filters, for example only layers that are linked, or contain a specific keyword in the name.

LayerGroups contains a built-in help system that works two ways: when you are on the GIMP menu system with the mouse above one of the menu options you get a multi-line window with help and instructions on how to use the specific functionality and when you are in the dialog box where you enter the parameters, there is a menu that you can open to read the same help text. This help system is prepared in such a way that it can be easily translated into other languages, like French, German, Spanish, Portuguese, Dutch, etc.

LayerGroups has been thoroughly tested in a project with images containing hundreds of layers where most of the mentioned layer group functionality was required. As a useful spill off, the LayerGroups script contains many generic script-fu functions that could be very useful in other scripts for GIMP. It has been tested under Windows XP and Vista with Gimp Portable version 2.6.6 and under Ubuntu Linux, Gimp version 2.6.6. To install the script, copy the script file "mig-gimp-layer-groups.scm" to the scripts directory and from GIMP execute the menu option Filters->Script-Fu->Refresh scripts. You should get a new main menu option labeled 'LayerGroups' between 'Filters' and 'Windows'.

New version 1.0a: features

The new version 1.0a has a built in option to allow the LayerGroups subsystem to be placed under the 'Layer' menu of the Gimp image window. By the default you get a new 'LayerGroups' menu entry directly in the Gimp Image window. If you change the script file at line 35 - which contains the text '#f' in the first 2 characters - (change the 2nd character in that line from 'f' to 't') the 'LayerGroups' menu entry will become a sub-menu entry of the 'Layer' menu entry. Use any text editor to edit the 'mig-gimp-layer-groups.scm' file. For example, under Windows you can use NotePad to edit the file. Make sure the saved file maintains the extension '.scm'

This new version contains some bug corrections and new functionality. The new functionality includes 'delete linked layers', 'reverse the stack order of a layer group' and 'reverse the stack order of the currently linked layers'.

mig-gimp-layer-groups.scm208.12 KB
Code License: 
Scripting Engine: 


This is so useful. Even now that GIMP 2.8 is out, and layer groups are supported, some functionality in your scrip is missing in the 2.8 layer groups. Also, I still use GIMP 2.6.12, because GAP has not been ported to the 2.8 version yet(to my knowledge).

I commend you for making a plug-in but it's totally unusable. Is it supposed to make groups for layers or am I missing the point? (didn't mean to sound bitchy there...!) The context menus don't make any sense and the help system isn't helpful at all. The UI changes one user posted would be much better (so it's like Photoshop) as the UX for this is far from natural.

Also shows in the right click menu when you right click on any layer.Can you fix the script so Layer groups does the same thing?It would be nice to be able to right click a layer and choose a script from there. :)

Exactly what I needed for batch editting layer names.
Thank you very much.

Inspired by MikeBMcl's "Cut, Copy, and Paste Multiple Layers" plugin I added some options to the menu.
Please see my comment on this plugin's page.



hi, this sounds all very useful! but unfortunately, I have problems with the first step. you say: "It allows the creation of groups and subgroups of layers without limitation" - but I don´t know how and where? the layergroups menu does not contain any "create layer group" item.

Maybe I'm being totally dense, but I don't understand how to use this plugin. I'll update this comment once I've figured it out.

Thanks for the plug-in melocotone. Badly needed :)

The following would improve usability

This is just a mockup / image.

This would make it much more usable...good job!

i had to download again, and i follow the suggestion to change f in t at line 35 It worked with a exception i still have a "Layer Group" (Group not Groups) menu that contain only one voice (sort layer group ) how to move this last in layer menu ?
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