How to Cut & Paste in Adobe Photoshop

By Chad Buleen

Cutting and pasting in Photoshop can be a little different from cutting and pasting in other programs. While you can cut and paste in Photoshop in the same way that you cut and paste in other programs in some instances, the are also more advanced cut-and-paste methods in Photoshop. Once you understand these more-advanced cut-and-paste methods, you can complete projects in a much shorter time.

Step 1

Open the image by selecting "File" and then "Open" from the top left-hand corner of Photoshop. Navigate to where you have the image saved and double-click on it.

Step 2

Select the Magic Wand tool from the toolbar that runs vertically down the page by clicking on the icon once. The Magic Wand icon looks like a small stick with a circular, glowing head on it.

Step 3

Click on the area of the image that you want to cut. The Magic Wand tool will automatically select all of the area around the place where you clicked. If the area you need to select includes several colors, the magic wand tool may not work. If it doesn't work, try to the next step. If it does work, move on to Step 5.

Step 4

Select the Polygonal Lasso tool from the toolbar. This tool looks like a disproportionate triangle. Go to the area on the image where you want to cut and outline it with your mouse, clicking often as you go around the edges. A line will appear so that you can see if you are cutting straight. Continue to go around and click until your line meets the place where it started.

Step 5

Use the "Ctrl+X" key sequence on the keyboard to cut the area you have outlined with either tool. You also can point your mouse to "Edit" and then "Cut."

Step 6

Key "Ctrl+N" to open a new page and then "Ctrl+V" to past the image in a new document. If you want to paste what you cut on the same page, select "Ctrl+V" while on the same page, and the pasted image will be a part of a new layer.

Tips & Warnings

  • A Magnetic Lasso tool can also be used to cut out parts of an image. The Magnetic Lasso works best with smooth lines.
  • Cutting and pasting part of an image without feathering it will look jagged and abrupt, which will decrease the quality of most images.