Cut and Paste Photoshop

Photoshop Tutorial: How to Cut and Paste in Photoshop

Cut and paste have become the most common activities when we process photos and images. However, cut and paste in Photoshop is not as simple as we thought. Cutting and pasting multiple areas in batch, for example, is still a challenge for most amateur photographers. As a professional photo editor, Photoshop has powerful cut and paste features. If you still do not grasp these features, it is a waste of resource and time. Therefore, we will discuss cut and paste in Photoshop with detailed process from this article. Then you will realize that Photoshop is good at cut and paste.

Cut and Paste Photoshop

Part 1: How to cut and paste a part in Photoshop

If you have ever used Photoshop, you should know there are multiple paste options in “Edit” menu. So you have to understand the meanings of these options first.

Paste: paste the selected area in a new layer.

Paste In Place: paste pixels from clipboard in the same location on a new image.

Paste Into or Paste Outside: paste the selected area as a layer mask.

After understanding the different for cut and paste in Photoshop, we can start doing cut and paste task now.

Step 1: Select the area to cut and paste in Photoshop. You can use “Marquee” tool or “Lasso”. Located to “Edit” menu and choose “Cut”, or you can use hot key Ctrl + X on Windows or Command + X on Mac OS.

Marquee Tool

Step 2: Click on “Paste” option in “Edit” menu, the selected area will paste to a new layer. Or you can press Alt on Windows or Option on Mac OS and drag the selected area to another image or layer.

Edit Paste

Step 3: If you cut and paste a selection to another image, you may have to adjust the resolution and resize the selected subject. And if you select nothing before cut and paste, the steps above will cut and paste in Photoshop the whole active layer.

Part 2: How to cut and paste multiple selections in batch

Sometimes, you need to cut multiple subjects from active layer and paste on a new layer or another image. It will be a waste of time to select, cut and paste in Photoshop for them one by one. On the other hand, the feature of cut and paste multiple subjects in batch could help you to keep the subjects in the relative same locations. When it comes to the details, you can follow the steps below.

Step 1: Utilize Marquee tool, Lasso tool or Magic Wand tool to select one subject in the active layer. After that you can hold down “Shift” to select other subjects one by one.

Magic Wand

Step 2: After selecting, navigate to ribbon and open “Edit” to select “Cut” or use hot key to save the selected subjects to clipboard.

Cut Files

Step 3: If you click on “Paste” directly, the selected areas will be cut and pasted to a new layer. Or you can open another image and click on “Paste” to move the selected subjects there.

Step 4: Then you will find out these subjects are pasted in the new place and keep the relative same locations to each other.

Step 5: Finally, you can resize the pasted subjects in Photoshop. That will not change their relative location.

Part 3: How to cut and paste into or outside in Photoshop

Photoshop uses layer to save all the activities, including cut and paste in Photoshop. It seems to make process complicated. Actually, the layer is useful when we edit photos and images within Photoshop. Now we will explore another cut and paste feature, paste into and paste outside. The two options will add a new layer and layer mask on the picture. That contains a layer thumbnail of the selected area. The new layer and layer mask are independent, so you can move each one freely.

Step 1: Open the source image and destination image in Photoshop Select an area or multiple parts you want to cut and paste on the source image.

Step 2: Click on “Cut” in “Edit” menu or use hot key to store the selected area to clipboard.

Step 3: Located to top menu bar and open “Edit” to select “Paste Special” option and then “Paste Into” or “Paste Outside”. Paste Into option will create a layer mask with the selection area. Paste Outside command will create a layer mask that shows the rest of the selection area.

Paste Photoshop

Step 4:Select Move tool in tool bar and drag the mask to the destination image. You can move the mask until you get the satisfactory result.

Step 5: The benefit of mask is editable. You can use painting tool and black or white color to edit the mask.


Based on the analysis above, you must already grasp the cut and paste in Photoshop. As a professional photo editing program, you can achieve any editing task within Photoshop. Most people just utilize the simplest cut and paste command. But actually Photoshop provides more options related to cut and paste. You can cut and paste one area from source image to destination image or a new layer.

And Photoshop could also help you to cut and paste multiple subjects in batch. The other powerful cut and paste feature is Paste Into and Paste Outside. You can use the mask on other images and layers and edit the mask with painting tools. So you can see, Photoshop is powerful on cut and paste work. If you have any other query about how to cut and paste in Photoshop, you can feel free to leave a comment in the article.