How to Copy Images in Photoshop


One benefit of using Adobe Photoshop is that you can copy an image from a document and paste it just about anywhere you need it—even in other programs. To copy an image in Photoshop, you need a basic understanding of how layers work. You only can copy an isolated image if the correct layer is selected in your workspace.

  • Open your Adobe Photoshop file. This can be a standard .psd file or any other supported image file (such as .jpeg, .tif or .gif).

  • Scan the "Layers" tool window (loads to the right of the screen when you first open Photoshop) to find the layer that contains the image that you want to copy. If you don't see the "Layers" window, click "Window" then "Layers."

  • Select the layer that contains the image and press "Ctrl-A" to select the entire file (or canvas).

  • Click "Ctrl-C," to copy the image to your clipboard. Keep in mind that this will only copy the image that appears in that one layer.

  • Go to "Edit" then select "Copy Merged" as an alternate option if you want to copy the entire canvas (file) as you see it on your screen (the shortcut is Shift-Ctrl-C). This will take a snapshot of every layer in your workspace.

Tips & Warnings

  • You also can drag and drop images from your Photoshop canvas into other new Photoshop documents. First, make sure the correct layer is selected, as described in Step 2. Click "File" then "New" to create a new document. Then go to the original file and click, hold and drag the image into the new file.

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  • Photo Credit Ciaran Griffin/Lifesize/Getty Images
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