Photoshop Tutorial: How to Cut and Paste in Photoshop

Last Updated on February 1, 2022 by Peter Wood

Cut and paste have become the most common activities when processing photos and images. However, cutting and pasting in Photoshop is not as simple as we thought. Cutting and pasting multiple areas in a 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 needs resources and time. Therefore, we will discuss cut and paste in Photoshop with a detailed process from this article. Then you will realize that Photoshop is good at cutting and pasting.

How to Cut and Paste in Photoshop

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

If you have ever used Photoshop, you should know multiple paste options are in the 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 the clipboard in the location on a new image.

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

After understanding the difference between cut and paste in Photoshop, we can start doing the cut and paste task.

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

Marquee Tool

Step 2: Click on the Paste option in the Edit menu. The selected area will paste to a new layer. 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 adjust the resolution and resize the selected subject. And if you choose nothing before cutting and pasting, 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 the active layer and paste them 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 cutting and pasting multiple subjects in a batch could help you to keep the objects in relative locations. When it comes to the details, you can follow the steps below.

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

Magic Wand

Step 2: After selecting, navigate to ribbon and open Edit to select Cut or use the hotkey to save the selected objects to the 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: You will find out these subjects are pasted in the new place and keep the relative 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 a layer to save all the activities, including cut and paste in Photoshop. It seems to make the process complicated. The photo layer is helpful 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 to the picture. That contains a layer thumbnail of the selected area. The new photo 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 the Edit menu or use the hotkey to store the selected area on the 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 the tool in the tool bar and drag the mask to the destination image. You can move the photo mask until you get a satisfactory result.

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


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 utilize the simple cut and paste command. But actually, Photoshop provides more options related to cutting and pasting. You can cut and paste one area from the source image to the destination image or a new layer.

And Photoshop could also help you cut and paste multiple subjects in a 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 photomask with painting tools. As you can see, Photoshop is powerful in cut and paste work. If you have any other queries about cutting and pasting in Photoshop, you can feel free to leave a comment in the article.

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