Pen tool selections possible?


This is my my first day with Acorn. In other programs I have generally made selections using the pen tool, making the selection active, then I would copy and paste the selection onto a new layer. This would be like making a path in Photoshop or a Curve in Affinity Photo.

I cannot seem to find any tutorials online or questions in the forum regarding this. Though it’s a bit old school I’m much better at this method of making selections than masking. Is there a way to do this in Acorn?

What I tried: I opened an image and made a shape with the pen tool of the portion of the image I wanted to silo. With the pen tool shape layer selected, I looked under the select menu and saw an option to make selection from layer. That got me the marching ants. Then, while they were still active I selected the image layer below it and tried to copy/paste, but all I got was a new blank bitmap layer with the marching ants still active.

If this can’t be done, is there a close alternative?

Hello, and welcome!

Selections in Acorn persist across all layers, so once it’s made, you don’t need to transfer it to another layer; it’s just there.

So if you skip the copy + paste action, does it work as expected?


Hi Gus,

I’m not sure what you mean by skipping the copy+paste. I’m so totally new to this program. Here’s what I did :

  1. I opened an image and made a selection of a single flower petal with the pen tool. That created the Shape layer.

  2. With the Shape layer still selected, from the Selection menu I chose make selection from layer. That created the marching ants.

  3. Now I want to copy that petal selection from the image below it and paste it on to a new layer. I can’t find a way to do it.

  4. With the marching ants still active on the Shape layer, I selected the image layer below it and tried to copy/paste from there, but all I got was a new blank bitmap layer.

I was hoping to supply a screen cap to show you, but don’t have a server to link the image from, and copy / paste directly into this reply didn’t work.

A screen capture would be super helpful, and you can mail it to If that doesn’t work for some reason let me know and I’ll setup a spot you can upload it to.

Here’s the steps I use to do this:

  1. Draw my shape layer
  2. Use the Select ▸ Make Selection from Layer menu item.
  3. Switch to the bottom layer using the layer palette.
  4. Cmd-C to copy the selected pixels
  5. Cmd-V to paste those pixels, which creates a new layer. I could also use the File ▸ New from Clipboard menu item to check those out.

It sounds like what you’re doing is correct, but maybe just one thing is different from what I’m doing and I can’t quite spot it. We’ll get it figured out though!

Gus -

I followed your steps, but I still cannot get it to work. I’ll e-mail you pics. Thanks again for your help.


As a follow up to the email I sent, you correctly pointed out that I needed to have fill turn on in the Fill & Stroke panel.

Problem solved.

Thank you for your generous time and concern for this.


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