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Move, copy, and delete selected pixels

  1. Photoshop User Guide
  2. Introduction to Photoshop
    1. Dream it. Make it.
    2. What's new in Photoshop
    3. Edit your first photo
    4. Create documents
    5. Photoshop | Common Questions
    6. Photoshop system requirements
    7. Get to know Photoshop
  3. Photoshop and other Adobe products and services
    1. Work with Illustrator artwork in Photoshop
    2. Work with Photoshop files in InDesign
    3. Substance 3D Materials for Photoshop
    4. Use the Capture in-app extension in Photoshop
  4. Photoshop on the iPad (not available in mainland China)
    1. Photoshop on the iPad | Common questions
    2. Get to know the workspace
    3. System requirements | Photoshop on the iPad
    4. Create, open, and export documents
    5. Add photos
    6. Work with layers
    7. Draw and paint with brushes
    8. Make selections and add masks
    9. Retouch your composites
    10. Work with adjustment layers
    11. Adjust the tonality of your composite with Curves
    12. Apply transform operations
    13. Crop and rotate your composites
    14. Rotate, pan, zoom, and reset the canvas
    15. Work with Type layers
    16. Work with Photoshop and Lightroom
    17. Get missing fonts in Photoshop on the iPad
    18. Japanese Text in Photoshop on the iPad
    19. Manage app settings
    20. Touch shortcuts and gestures
    21. Keyboard shortcuts
    22. Edit your image size
    23. Livestream as you create in Photoshop on the iPad
    24. Correct imperfections with the Healing Brush
    25. Create brushes in Capture and use them in Photoshop on the iPad
    26. Work with Camera Raw files
    27. Create and work with Smart Objects
    28. Adjust exposure in your images with Dodge and Burn
    29. Auto adjustment commands in Photoshop on the iPad
    30. Smudge areas in your images with Photoshop on the iPad
    31. Saturate or desaturate your images using Sponge tool
    32. Content aware fill for iPad
  5. Photoshop on the web (not available in mainland China)
    1. Common questions
    2. System requirements
    3. Keyboard shortcuts
    4. Supported file types
    5. Introduction to the workspace
    6. Open and work with cloud documents
    7. Generative AI features
    8. Basic concepts of editing
    9. Quick Actions
    10. Work with layers
    11. Retouch images and remove imperfections
    12. Make quick selections
    13. Image improvements with Adjustment Layers
    14. Move, transform, and crop images
    15. Draw and paint
    16. Work with Type layers
    17. Work with anyone on the web
    18. Manage app settings
    19. Generate Image
    20. Generate Background
    21. Reference Image
  6. Photoshop (beta) (not available in mainland China)
    1. Get started with Creative Cloud Beta apps
    2. Photoshop (beta) on the desktop
    3. Generate image with descriptive text prompts
    4. Generate background with descriptive text prompts
  7. Generative AI (not available in mainland China) 
    1. Common questions on generative AI in Photoshop
    2. Generative Fill in Photoshop on the desktop
    3. Generative Expand in Photoshop on the desktop
    4. Generative Fill in Photoshop on the iPad
    5. Generative Expand in Photoshop on the iPad
    6. Generative AI features in Photoshop on the web
  8. Content authenticity (not available in mainland China)
    1. Content credentials in Photoshop
    2. Identity and provenance for NFTs
    3. Connect accounts for creative attribution
  9. Cloud documents (not available in mainland China)
    1. Photoshop cloud documents | Common questions
    2. Photoshop cloud documents | Workflow questions
    3. Manage and work with cloud documents in Photoshop
    4. Upgrade cloud storage for Photoshop
    5. Unable to create or save a cloud document
    6. Solve Photoshop cloud document errors
    7. Collect cloud document sync logs
    8. Invite others to edit your cloud documents
    9. Share files and comment in-app
  10. Workspace
    1. Workspace basics
    2. Preferences
    3. Learn faster with the Photoshop Discover Panel
    4. Create documents
    5. Place files
    6. Default keyboard shortcuts
    7. Customize keyboard shortcuts
    8. Tool galleries
    9. Performance preferences
    10. Use tools
    11. Presets
    12. Grid and guides
    13. Touch gestures
    14. Use the Touch Bar with Photoshop
    15. Touch capabilities and customizable workspaces
    16. Technology previews
    17. Metadata and notes
    18. Touch capabilities and customizable workspaces
    19. Place Photoshop images in other applications
    20. Rulers
    21. Show or hide non-printing Extras
    22. Specify columns for an image
    23. Undo and history
    24. Panels and menus
    25. Position elements with snapping
    26. Position with the Ruler tool
  11. Web, screen, and app design
    1. Photoshop for design
    2. Artboards
    3. Device Preview
    4. Copy CSS from layers
    5. Slice web pages
    6. HTML options for slices
    7. Modify slice layout
    8. Work with web graphics
    9. Create web photo galleries
  12. Image and color basics
    1. How to resize images
    2. Work with raster and vector images
    3. Image size and resolution
    4. Acquire images from cameras and scanners
    5. Create, open, and import images
    6. View images
    7. Invalid JPEG Marker error | Opening images
    8. Viewing multiple images
    9. Customize color pickers and swatches
    10. High dynamic range images
    11. Match colors in your image
    12. Convert between color modes
    13. Color modes
    14. Erase parts of an image
    15. Blending modes
    16. Choose colors
    17. Customize indexed color tables
    18. Image information
    19. Distort filters are unavailable
    20. About color
    21. Color and monochrome adjustments using channels
    22. Choose colors in the Color and Swatches panels
    23. Sample
    24. Color mode or Image mode
    25. Color cast
    26. Add a conditional mode change to an action
    27. Add swatches from HTML CSS and SVG
    28. Bit depth and preferences
  13. Layers
    1. Layer basics
    2. Nondestructive editing
    3. Create and manage layers and groups
    4. Select, group, and link layers
    5. Place images into frames
    6. Layer opacity and blending
    7. Mask layers
    8. Apply Smart Filters
    9. Layer comps
    10. Move, stack, and lock layers
    11. Mask layers with vector masks
    12. Manage layers and groups
    13. Layer effects and styles
    14. Edit layer masks
    15. Extract assets
    16. Reveal layers with clipping masks
    17. Generate image assets from layers
    18. Work with Smart Objects
    19. Blending modes
    20. Combine multiple images into a group portrait
    21. Combine images with Auto-Blend Layers
    22. Align and distribute layers
    23. Copy CSS from layers
    24. Load selections from a layer or layer mask's boundaries
    25. Knockout to reveal content from other layers
  14. Selections
    1. Get started with selections
    2. Make selections in your composite
    3. Select and Mask workspace
    4. Select with the marquee tools
    5. Select with the lasso tools
    6. Adjust pixel selections
    7. Move, copy, and delete selected pixels
    8. Create a temporary quick mask
    9. Select a color range in an image
    10. Convert between paths and selection borders
    11. Channel basics
    12. Save selections and alpha channel masks
    13. Select the image areas in focus
    14. Duplicate, split, and merge channels
    15. Channel calculations
  15. Image adjustments
    1. Replace object colors
    2. Perspective warp
    3. Reduce camera shake blurring
    4. Healing brush examples
    5. Export color lookup tables
    6. Adjust image sharpness and blur
    7. Understand color adjustments
    8. Apply a Brightness/Contrast adjustment
    9. Adjust shadow and highlight detail
    10. Levels adjustment
    11. Adjust hue and saturation
    12. Adjust vibrance
    13. Adjust color saturation in image areas
    14. Make quick tonal adjustments
    15. Apply special color effects to images
    16. Enhance your image with color balance adjustments
    17. High dynamic range images
    18. View histograms and pixel values
    19. Match colors in your image
    20. Crop and straighten photos
    21. Convert a color image to black and white
    22. Adjustment and fill layers
    23. Curves adjustment
    24. Blending modes
    25. Target images for press
    26. Adjust color and tone with Levels and Curves eyedroppers
    27. Adjust HDR exposure and toning
    28. Dodge or burn image areas
    29. Make selective color adjustments
  16. Adobe Camera Raw
    1. Camera Raw system requirements
    2. What's new in Camera Raw
    3. Introduction to Camera Raw
    4. Create panoramas
    5. Supported lenses
    6. Vignette, grain, and dehaze effects in Camera Raw
    7. Default keyboard shortcuts
    8. Automatic perspective correction in Camera Raw
    9. Radial Filter in Camera Raw
    10. Manage Camera Raw settings
    11. Open, process, and save images in Camera Raw
    12. Repair images with the Enhanced Spot Removal tool in Camera Raw
    13. Rotate, crop, and adjust images
    14. Adjust color rendering in Camera Raw
    15. Process versions in Camera Raw
    16. Make local adjustments in Camera Raw
  17. Image repair and restoration
    1. Remove objects from your photos with Content-Aware Fill
    2. Content-Aware Patch and Move
    3. Retouch and repair photos
    4. Correct image distortion and noise
    5. Basic troubleshooting steps to fix most issues
  18. Image enhancement and transformation
    1. Replace sky in your images
    2. Transform objects
    3. Adjust crop, rotation, and canvas size
    4. How to crop and straighten photos
    5. Create and edit panoramic images
    6. Warp images, shapes, and paths
    7. Vanishing Point
    8. Content-aware scaling
    9. Transform images, shapes, and paths
  19. Drawing and painting
    1. Paint symmetrical patterns
    2. Draw rectangles and modify stroke options
    3. About drawing
    4. Draw and edit shapes
    5. Painting tools
    6. Create and modify brushes
    7. Blending modes
    8. Add color to paths
    9. Edit paths
    10. Paint with the Mixer Brush
    11. Brush presets
    12. Gradients
    13. Gradient interpolation
    14. Fill and stroke selections, layers, and paths
    15. Draw with the Pen tools
    16. Create patterns
    17. Generate a pattern using the Pattern Maker
    18. Manage paths
    19. Manage pattern libraries and presets
    20. Draw or paint with a graphics tablet
    21. Create textured brushes
    22. Add dynamic elements to brushes
    23. Gradient
    24. Paint stylized strokes with the Art History Brush
    25. Paint with a pattern
    26. Sync presets on multiple devices
    27. Migrate presets, actions, and settings
  20. Text
    1. Add and edit the text
    2. Unified Text Engine
    3. Work with OpenType SVG fonts
    4. Format characters
    5. Format paragraphs
    6. How to create type effects
    7. Edit text
    8. Line and character spacing
    9. Arabic and Hebrew type
    10. Fonts
    11. Troubleshoot fonts
    12. Asian type
    13. Create type
  21. Filters and effects
    1. Use the Blur Gallery
    2. Filter basics
    3. Filter effects reference
    4. Add Lighting Effects
    5. Use the Adaptive Wide Angle filter
    6. Use the Oil Paint filter
    7. Use the Liquify filter
    8. Layer effects and styles
    9. Apply specific filters
    10. Smudge image areas
  22. Saving and exporting
    1. Save your files in Photoshop
    2. Export your files in Photoshop
    3. Supported file formats
    4. Save files in graphics formats
    5. Move designs between Photoshop and Illustrator
    6. Save and export video and animations
    7. Save PDF files
    8. Digimarc copyright protection
  23. Color Management
    1. Understanding color management
    2. Keeping colors consistent
    3. Color settings
    4. Duotones
    5. Work with color profiles
    6. Color-managing documents for online viewing
    7. Color-managing documents when printing
    8. Color-managing imported images
    9. Proofing colors
  24. Web, screen, and app design
    1. Photoshop for design
    2. Artboards
    3. Device Preview
    4. Copy CSS from layers
    5. Slice web pages
    6. HTML options for slices
    7. Modify slice layout
    8. Work with web graphics
    9. Create web photo galleries
  25. Video and animation
    1. Video editing in Photoshop
    2. Edit video and animation layers
    3. Video and animation overview
    4. Preview video and animations
    5. Paint frames in video layers
    6. Import video files and image sequences
    7. Create frame animations
    8. Creative Cloud 3D Animation (Preview)
    9. Create timeline animations
    10. Create images for video
  26. Printing
    1. Print 3D objects
    2. Print from Photoshop
    3. Print with color management
    4. Contact Sheets and PDF Presentations
    5. Print photos in a picture package layout
    6. Print spot colors
    7. Print images to a commercial printing press
    8. Improve color prints from Photoshop
    9. Troubleshoot printing problems | Photoshop
  27. Automation
    1. Creating actions
    2. Create data-driven graphics
    3. Scripting
    4. Process a batch of files
    5. Play and manage actions
    6. Add conditional actions
    7. About actions and the Actions panel
    8. Record tools in actions
    9. Add a conditional mode change to an action
    10. Photoshop UI toolkit for plug-ins and scripts
  28. Troubleshooting
    1. Fixed issues 
    2. Known issues
    3. Optimize Photoshop performance
    4. Basic troubleshooting
    5. Troubleshoot crash or freeze
    6. Troubleshoot program errors
    7. Troubleshoot scratch disk full errors
    8. Troubleshoot GPU and graphics driver issues
    9. Find missing tools
    10. Photoshop 3D | Common questions around discontinued features

Learn how to move, copy, and delete selected pixels in your image

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Move a selection

  1. Select the Move tool  .
  2. Move the pointer inside the selection border, and drag the selection to a new position. If you selected multiple areas, all move as you drag.

    Photoshop move a selection
    Original selection (left), and after you move the selection with the Move tool (right)

Hover layer bounds in the Move tool

Introduced in the Photoshop on desktop (version 25.7) April 2024 release

With hover layer bounds, you can view an object's boundaries as you mouse over them on the canvas.

While the boundary outline is displayed, the corresponding layer will be highlighted in the Layers panel. Additionally, layers with pixel or vector masks will display both visible and hidden layer data.

Hover layer bounds follow the chosen Move tool selection in Auto-Select.

Layer will display the outline of individual layer objects and Group will display the outline of layer groups. They also appear on the canvas as you mouse over layers in the Layers panel.

For overlapping layers, you can view the boundaries of additional layers that share the same pixel coordinates by pressing the [ and ] keys. These keyboard shortcuts can be customized in Edit > Keyboard Shortcuts > Tools.

Once the desired group or layer boundaries are displayed, select or drag to interact with the outlined layer.

You can customize these behaviors of hover layer bounds:

  • Customize the color and thickness and the Layers panel highlight color in Preferences > Guides, Grid & Slices.
  • Show or hide hover layer boundaries or the Layers panel highlights in in the gear menu of the Move tool in the options bar.
  • Customize whether selecting a layer from the canvas expands layer groups in the gear menu of the Move tool in the options bar.
Hover layer bounds in Photoshop on desktop

Copy and paste selections

You can use the Move tool to copy selections as you drag them within or between images, or you can copy and move selections using the Copy, Copy Merged, Cut, and Paste commands. Dragging with the Move tool saves memory because you don't use the clipboard.

When you paste a selection or layer between images with different resolutions, the pasted data retains its pixel dimensions. This can make the pasted portion appear out of proportion to the new image. Use the Image Size command to make the source and destination images the same resolution before copying and pasting, or use the Free Transform command to resize the pasted content.

Depending on your color management settings and the color profile associated with the file (or imported data), you may be prompted to specify how to handle color information in the file (or imported data).

Understanding the Copy and Paste commands

Copy

Copies the selected area on the active layer.

Copy Merged

Makes a merged copy of all the visible layers in the selected area.

Paste

Pastes a copied selection into another part of the image or into another image as a new layer. If you have a selection, the Paste command places the copied selection over the current selection. Without an active selection, Paste places the copied selection in the middle of the view area.

Paste In Place

If the clipboard contains pixels copied from another Photoshop document, pastes the selection into the same relative location in the target document as it occupied in the source.

Paste Into or Paste Outside

Pastes a copied selection into or outside another selection in any image. The source selection is pasted onto a new layer, and the destination selection border is converted into a layer mask.

Copy a selection

  1. Select the area you want to copy.
  2. Choose Edit > Copy, or Edit > Copy Merged.

Copy a selection while dragging

  1. Select the Move tool  , or hold down Ctrl (Windows) or Command (Mac OS) to activate the Move tool.
  2. Hold down Alt (Windows) or Option (Mac OS), and drag the selection you want to copy and move.

    When copying between images, drag the selection from the active image window into the destination image window. If nothing is selected, the entire active layer is copied. As you drag the selection over another image window, a border highlights the window if you can drop the selection into it.

    Photoshop Drag a selection into another image
    Dragging a selection into another image

Create multiple copies of a selection within an image

  1. Select the Move tool , or hold down Ctrl (Win) or Command (Mac) to activate the Move tool.

  2. Copy the selection:
    • Hold down Alt (Win) or Option (Mac), and drag the selection.

    • To copy the selection and offset the duplicate by 1 pixel, hold down Alt or Option, and press an arrow key.

    • To copy the selection and offset the duplicate by 10 pixels, press Alt+Shift (Win) or Option+Shift (Mac), and press an arrow key.

      As long as you hold down Alt or Option, each press of an arrow key creates a copy of the selection and offsets it by the specified distance from the last duplicate. In this case, the copy is made on the same layer.

Paste one selection into or outside another

  1. Cut or copy the part of the image you want to paste.
  2. In the same image or another, select the area you want to paste into or outside. If you’re pasting outside, select an area smaller than the copied selection.

  3. Do either of the following:
    • Choose Edit > Paste Special > Paste Into. The contents of the source selection appear within the destination selection.

    • Choose Edit > Paste Special > Paste Outside. The contents of the source selection appear around the destination selection.

    The Paste Into or Paste Outside command adds a layer and layer mask to the image. In the Layers panel, the new layer contains a layer thumbnail for the pasted selection next to a layer mask thumbnail. The layer mask is based on the selection you pasted into: the selection is unmasked (white), the rest of the layer is masked (black). The layer and layer mask are unlinked—that is, you can move each one independently.

    Photoshop Use the Paste Into command
    Using the Paste Into command

    A. Window panes selected B. Copied image C. Paste Into command D. Layer thumbnails and layer mask in Layers panel E. Pasted image repositioned 

  4. Select the Move tool , or hold down the Ctrl (Win) or Command (Mac) key to activate the Move tool. Then drag the source contents until the part you want appears through the mask.

  5. To specify how much of the underlying image shows through, click the layer mask thumbnail in the Layers panel, select a painting tool, and edit the mask:
    • To hide more of the image underlying the layer, paint the mask with black.

    • To reveal more of the underlying image, paint the mask with white.

    • To partially reveal the underlying image, paint the mask with gray.

  6. If you are satisfied with your results, you can choose Layer > Merge Down to merge the new layer and layer mask with the underlying layer and make the changes permanent.

How to copy and paste between applications

You can use the Cut, Copy, or Paste commands to copy selections from Photoshop and paste them into other applications, or to paste artwork from other applications into Photoshop. The cut or copied selection remains on the clipboard until you cut or copy another selection. You can also copy artwork between Photoshop and Illustrator by dragging and dropping.

In some cases, the contents of the clipboard are converted to a raster image. Photoshop prompts you when vector artwork will be rasterized. The image is rasterized at the resolution of the file into which you paste it. Vector Smart Objects are not rasterized.

  1. In the supporting application, select your artwork, and choose Edit > Copy.

  2. In Photoshop, select the image into which you’ll paste the selection.

  3. Choose Edit > Paste.

  4. In the Paste dialog box, select from the following Paste As options:

    Smart Object: Places the artwork in a new layer as a Smart Object.

    Pixels: Rasterizes the artwork as it is pasted. Rasterizing converts mathematically-defined vector artwork to pixels.

    Paths: Pastes the copy as a path in the Paths panel. When copying type from Illustrator, you must first convert it to outlines.

    Shape Layer: Creates a new shape layer that uses the path as a vector mask.

    Note: When copying artwork from Adobe Illustrator, the default clipboard preferences in Illustrator may prevent the Paste dialog box from appearing in Photoshop. Select AICB in the File Handling and Clipboard area of the Preferences dialog box in Illustrator if you want the Paste options to appear when you paste the artwork into Photoshop.

  5. If you chose Paste As Pixels in the previous step, you can choose Anti-aliased in the options bar to make a smooth transition between the edges of the selection and the surrounding pixels. You can also use Matting commands if you have already merged data and are trying to re-extract the rasterized data.

  1. Do one of the following:
    • (Win) Choose Edit > Preferences > General.

    • (Mac) Choose Photoshop > Preferences > General.

  2. Select Export Clipboard to save any Photoshop contents to the clipboard when you quit Photoshop.

To copy artwork from Illustrator, do one of the following:

  • Drag one or more Illustrator vector objects into an open image in Photoshop. This creates a vector Smart Object layer in the image. Choose Layer > Smart Objects > Edit Content to reopen the content in Illustrator for editing.

  • To copy the vector object as a path in Photoshop, hold down Ctrl (Windows) or Command (Mac OS) as you drag from Illustrator.

  • To copy the contents of the currently selected layer in Photoshop to Illustrator, use the Move tool to drag the content from the Photoshop window into an open Illustrator document.

Delete or cut selected pixels

Choose Edit > Clear, or press Backspace (Win) or Delete (Mac). To cut a selection to the clipboard, choose Edit > Cut

Deleting a selection on a background layer replaces the original color with the background color. Deleting a selection on a standard layer replaces the original color with layer transparency.


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