Adobe Photoshop for Mac and Windows offers several ways to copy image layers between documents, so you don’t have to recreate your hard work from scratch. Here’s how to do it.
Copy layers with drag and drop
The easiest way to copy a layer from one Photoshop document to another is to drag and drop it between documents. Start by starting both of your documents in Photoshop. Note that each document has its own tab in the Photoshop interface.
From the menu at the top of the screen or window, click Window> Arrange> 2-Up Vertical. This way your two documents will appear side by side.
Then select the tab for the photo you want to copy a layer from. From the “Layers” panel in the right sidebar of the Photoshop window, drag the layer you want to copy and drop it onto the second photo on your screen.
Note: If you don’t see the Layers panel, click the Window> Layers option in the menu bar to enable it.
If you click on the tab of your second photo, you will notice that the layer you copied is now available in it.
Pretty easy! Drag layers between images as often as you want.
How to Copy Layers Using the “Duplicate Layer” Option
Another way to copy a layer from one Photoshop document to another is to use the “Duplicate Layer” option. To do this, first open both your documents in Photoshop.
Select the document you want to copy a layer from by clicking the tab at the top of the Photoshop window. In the “Layers” panel in the right sidebar, right-click the layer you want to copy and select “Duplicate Layer”.
In the Duplicate Layer window, click the drop-down menu next to ‘Document’. Select the name of the Photoshop destination document and click “OK” on the right.
Your duplicated layer is now available in the other Photoshop document.
There are many more tricks like this out there if you take the time to learn more about Photoshop. Even if you’re not using Photoshop for a living, it’s almost always worth putting the time in. Lots of fun!
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