How to Censor an Image in PhotoShop


Image editing is a common process that can be used to retouch flaws, rebuild cherished photos and enhance photography. Sometimes we have photos that need to be edited to make them appropriate for all viewers. Whether it is an adult rated image, other objectionable content or a person whose identity needs to be concealed, Photoshop is a very useful tool for achieving this task. With some basic knowledge of a few common Photoshop functions, you can create a digitized shape that will censor your images with ease.

Preparing Your Image For Censoring

  • Open the image you want to edit in Photoshop.

  • Drag the image layer to the “New Layer” icon located at the bottom of the “Layers” palette. This will generate a copy of your image called “Layer 1.”

  • Select the new layer by clicking on it so it turns blue.

Obscuring the Desired Area

  • Decide on the shape you want to use to censor your image. You can determine this by looking at the area you need to cover. A freehand rectangle will usually cover most problem areas.

  • Find the “Rectangle Marquee” tool at the top of the “Tools” palette. It looks like a square made with a dotted line.

  • Click and drag your cursor on "Layer1" to create a rectangle that is large enough to cover the spot to be censored. Releasing the mouse will reveal the “marching ants” selection.

  • Go to the top menu bar and click on “Filter” then “Blur” and “Gaussian Blur.”

  • Give your selection a radius of 8 to10 pixels and then click “OK” to generate the change.

  • Go to the top menu bar and click on “Filter” then “Pixelate” and “Mosaic.”

  • Click the box next to the word “Preview” to see your changes in the next step.

  • Give your selection a cell size of 10 to15 squares, based on your own preference. Click “OK” to generate the change.

Tips & Warnings

  • Always copy your images before altering them to avoid making unwanted changes to the originals.

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  • Photo Credit Ciaran Griffin/Lifesize/Getty Images
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