GIMP: How to apply a mask to multiple layers?

I’m new to GIMP, so I’m having trouble accomplishing the following:

  • I want to apply the same layer mask to all of my layers without having to merge them.

If this is not possible, the end result I’m trying to accomplish is to have an alpha-gradient effect on the whole image, not just one layer; but again, I don’t want to merge the layers.


Unfortunately GIMP does not support adding a layer mask to a layer group. Layer Masks can only apply to a single layer.

The closest work around is to create the layer mask you want on a single layer, then copy it to the other layers.

  1. Add the layer mask to the layer (Right click -> Add Layer Mask)
  2. Configure the layer mask as desired, such as adding a gradient
  3. Right click the layer with the mask and select “Mask to Selection”
  4. On another layer, add a layer mask. For “Initialize Layer Mask to” click “Selection”
  5. Repeat for other layers as needed.

If you need to change the layer mask later, you’ll need to delete all except one, change it, and then re-copy it to the other layers.

Source : Link , Question Author : AxiomaticNexus , Answer Author : Scribblemacher

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