How to Copy a Path in Photoshop

By Shea Laverty

Paths in Photoshop can be copied and duplicated using either the Paths panel on the Layers panel or using the Path Selection tool and the Copy command.

Paths can be copied in Photoshop CC in two ways: using the Paths panel or the Path Selection tool. Each method can duplicate a path in its entirety or any selected portion of the path.

Paths Panel

Duplicate paths from the Paths panel using the right-click context menu. The duplicate path is an exact copy of the original placed on its own path layer.

Step 1

Click the Paths tab in the Layers panel to open the Paths panel.

Step 2

Select Duplicate Path from the path layer's context menu.

Right-click a path and select Duplicate Path.

Step 3

Click OK in the Duplicate Path dialog.

Enter a name for the duplicate path and click OK.


You can also duplicate any path by dragging it to the Create New Path icon on the Paths panel.

Path Selection Tool

Selecting and Copying a Path

Step 1

Click the Path Selection button in the toolbar.

Choose the Path Selection Tool in the toolbar or press A on the keyboard to select the tool.

Step 2

Click the desired path from the Paths panel.

Select the desired path in the Paths panel.

Step 3

Surround the desired path segments with the marquee box.

Draw a marquee box around the desired path segments or the entire path using the Path Selection tool.

Step 4

Select Copy from the Edit menu.

Click Edit followed by Copy or press Ctrl-C on the keyboard.

Pasting Onto a New Path Layer

Step 1

Click the Create New Path icon.

Create a new path layer by clicking the Create New Path icon.

Step 2

Click the new path layer.

Select the new path layer.

Step 3

Click Paste from the Edit menu.

Click Edit followed by Paste or press Ctrl-V on your keyboard.

Pasting Into a New Document

Step 1

Click New from the File menu.

Click File followed by New or click Ctrl-N on the keyboard.

Step 2

Click OK in the New dialog.

Click OK to create the new document.

Step 3

Select Paste from the Edit menu.

Click Edit followed by Paste or Ctrl-V to paste the path into the new document.


You can open an existing image and paste the path onto it. Select File, followed by Open, select the file and click Open. You can also press Ctrl-O on your keyboard to call up the Open menu.

Duplicating on the Same Path Layer

Drag the selected path while holding down Alt.

To duplicate on the same path, select the path with the Path Selection tool and then hold down the Alt key and drag the path to the desired location.


While not specifically designed for use with paths, the Direct Selection tool can be used in much the same fashion as the Path Selection tool to select and copy paths.

Photoshop also has a tool specifically designated for selecting paths. Using this tool, you can select an entire path or certain segments and copy them to the clipboard. From there, you can paste the path to create a duplicate path in the same document or in a new file.