Learn how to remove small distractions from an image.

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This sample file is an Adobe Stock asset you can use to practice what you learn in this tutorial. If you want to use the sample file beyond this tutorial, you can purchase a license on Adobe Stock. Check out the ReadMe file in the folder for the terms that apply to your use of this sample file.

What you learned: Use the Spot Healing Brush tool to remove distractions

When to use the Spot Healing Brush

The Spot Healing Brush tool analyzes the areas surrounding where you brush and finds the best ways to convincingly blend that surrounding detail to remove an object. It is ideal to use for removing minor imperfections or smaller details.

Use a separate layer for retouching

  • With the Background layer active, choose Layer > New > Layer Via Copy to make a copy of the Background layer and keep your retouching separate from the main image.
  • Another way to create a separate retouching layer is to add a new layer and, in the Options bar for the Spot Healing Brush, click the checkbox for Sample All Layers.

Adjust the size of the Spot Healing Brush tool

  1. With the tool selected, tap the right square bracket key several times to enlarge the brush pointer, or the left square bracket key to make the brush pointer smaller. (The square bracket keys are next to the letter P on most English keyboards.)
  2. Simply brush over the area you want to remove. There is no need to sample new detail with the Spot Healing Brush tool.

Experiment with different Spot Healing options

The Content-Aware option works best for areas that contain elements of a pattern, such as rippled water.

Proximity Match can be effective for areas that contain more uniform and uncomplicated detail and color.

When retouching close to similar areas of contrasting brightness or color, the Spot Healing Brush tool may inadvertently include some unwanted surrounding detail. To restrict the tool, try making a lasso selection to exclude the areas you do not want it to copy.

Save your work

  • Save the file in PSD or TIFF format to retain the separate retouching layer you created.
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