Place files

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The Place command adds a photo, art, or any Photoshop-supported file as a Smart Object to your document. Smart Objects can be scaled, positioned, skewed, rotated, or warped without degrading the image.

Place a file in Photoshop

  1. Open the Photoshop document that is the destination for the placed art or photo.
  2. Do one of the following:
    • (Photoshop) Choose File > Place, select the file you want to place, and click Place.


    You can also drag a file from Windows or Mac OS onto an open Photoshop image.

    • (Bridge) Select the file and choose File > Place > In Photoshop.
  3. If you are placing a PDF or Illustrator (AI) file, the Place PDF dialog box appears. Select the page or image you want to place, set the Crop options, and click OK. For more information on the Place PDF dialog box options, see Place PDF or Illustrator files in Photoshop.

    The placed artwork appears inside a bounding box at the center of the Photoshop image. The artwork maintains its original aspect ratio; however, if the artwork is larger than the Photoshop image, it is resized to fit.


    In addition to the Place command, you can also add Adobe Illustrator art as a Smart Object by copying and pasting the art from Illustrator into a Photoshop document. See Paste Adobe Illustrator art into Photoshop.

  4. (Optional) Reposition or transform the placed artwork by doing any of the following:
    • To reposition the placed art, position the pointer inside the bounding box of the placed artwork and drag, or in the options bar, enter a value for X to specify the distance between the center point of the placed artwork and the left edge of the image. Enter a value for Y to specify the distance between the center point of the placed artwork and the top edge of the image.

    • To scale the placed art, drag one of the corner handles of the bounding box or enter values for W and H in the options bar. When dragging, hold down the Shift key to constrain proportions.

    • To rotate the placed art, position the pointer outside the bounding box (the pointer turns into a curved arrow) and drag, or enter a value (in degrees) for the Rotation option  in the options bar. The artwork rotates around the center point of the placed artwork. To adjust the center point, drag it to a new location, or click a handle on the Center Point icon  in the options bar.

    • To skew the placed art, hold down Ctrl (Windows) or Command (Mac OS) and drag a side handle of the bounding box.

    • To warp the placed art, choose Edit > Transform > Warp and then choose a warp from the Warp Style pop-up menu in the options bar.

      If you choose Custom from the Warp Style pop-up menu, drag the control points, a segment of the bounding box or mesh, or an area within the mesh to warp the image.

  5. If you’re placing a PDF, EPS, or Adobe Illustrator file, set the Anti-alias option in the options bar as desired. To blend edge pixels during rasterization, select the Anti-alias option. To produce a hard-edged transition between edge pixels during rasterization, deselect the Anti-alias option.
  6. Do one of the following:
    • Click Commit  in the options bar or press Enter (Windows) or Return (Mac OS) to commit the placed artwork to a new layer.

    • Click Cancel  in the options bar, or press Esc to cancel the placement.

Place PDF or Illustrator files in Photoshop

When you place a PDF or Adobe Illustrator file, use the Place PDF dialog box to set options for placing the artwork.

  1. With the destination Photoshop document open, place a PDF or Adobe Illustrator file.
  2. Under Select in the Place PDF dialog box, select Page or Image, depending on what elements of the PDF document you want to import. If the PDF file has multiple pages or images, click the thumbnail of the page or file you want to place.

    Use the Thumbnail Size menu to adjust the thumbnail view in the preview window. The Fit Page option fits one thumbnail in the preview window. A scroll bar appears if there are multiple items.

  3. Under Options, choose from the Crop To menu to specify what part of the PDF or Illustrator (AI) document to include:

    Bounding Box

    Crops to the smallest rectangular region that includes all the text and graphics of the page. This option eliminates extraneous white space.

    Media Box

    Crops to the original size of the page.

    Crop Box

    Crops to the clipping region (crop margins) of the PDF file.

    Bleed Box

    Crops to the region specified in the PDF file for accommodating limitations inherent in production processes such as cutting, folding, and trimming.

    Trim Box

    Crops to the region specified for the intended finished size of the page.

    Art Box

    Crops to the region specified in the PDF file for placing the PDF data into another application.

  4. Click OK to close the Place PDF dialog box.
  5. If necessary, set any positioning, scaling, skewing, rotating, warping, or anti-aliasing options in the options bar.
  6. Click Commit  to place the artwork as a Smart Object on a new layer of the destination document.

Paste Adobe Illustrator art into Photoshop

You can copy art from Adobe Illustrator and paste it into a Photoshop document.

  1. In Adobe Illustrator, specify preferences for the copy-and-paste behavior:
    • To automatically rasterize the art when pasting it into a Photoshop document, turn off the PDF and the AICB (No Transparency Support) options in the File Handling & Clipboard preferences.

    • To paste the art as a Smart Object, rasterized image, path, or shape layer, turn on the PDF and the AICB (No Transparency Support) options in the File Handling & Clipboard preferences.

  2. Open a file in Adobe Illustrator, select the art you want to copy, and choose Edit > Copy.
  3. In Photoshop, open the document that you want to paste the Adobe Illustrator art into and then choose Edit > Paste.

    If the PDF and the AICB (No Transparency Support) options are turned off in the File Handling & Clipboard preferences of Adobe Illustrator, the art is automatically rasterized as it’s pasted into the Photoshop document. You can skip the rest of the steps in this procedure.

  4. In the Paste dialog box, select how you want to paste the Adobe Illustrator art and then click OK:

    Smart Object

    Pastes the art as a Vector Smart Object that can be scaled, transformed, or moved without degrading the image. As the art is placed, its file data is embedded in the Photoshop document on a separate layer.


    Pastes the art as pixels that can be scaled, transformed, or moved before it is rasterized and placed on its own layer in the Photoshop document.


    Pastes the art as a path that can be edited with the pen tools, Path Selection tool, or Direct Selection tool. The path is pasted into the layer that’s selected in the Layers panel.

    Shape Layer

    Pastes the art as a new shape layer (a layer containing a path filled with the foreground color).

  5. If you selected Smart Object or Pixels in the Paste dialog box, make any transformations you wish, and then click Enter or Return to place the art.
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