How to Divide Images Into Pieces in Photoshop

By Filonia LeChat

Unlike Humpty Dumpty, who had an unfortunate fall and broke into many pieces, sometimes dividing things into pieces is a good thing, such as with creating puzzles or artistic effects in photography. When you use a graphics software program such as Adobe Photoshop to divide images into pieces, you can always put the pieces back together again. Create sliced images, overlap pieces and leave holes for background designs to show through all with a couple of clicks in Photoshop.

Step 1

Open Photoshop, click the "File" menu and select "Open." Browse to the image you want to divide into pieces and double-click the file name, opening it in the Photoshop workspace. Click the "View" menu at the top of the screen and select "Fit on Screen" so you can see the entire image.

Step 2

Click the "Window" menu at the top of the screen and select "Layers" to open the "Layers" palette. Currently there is just one layer, the Background.

Step 3

Right-click the Background layer, select "Duplicate Layer" and click "OK." A Background copy layer will appear. Right-click the original Background layer, select "Delete Layer" and click "Yes."

Step 4

Right-click the marquee tool, located near the top of the Tools palette on the left side of the screen; it looks like a rectangle made of dotted lines, a circle made of dotted lines or a row made of dotted lines. Select "Rectangular Marquee Tool" from the fly-out menu.

Step 5

Position your cursor on an area of the image, such as the top-left corner. Press and hold down the left mouse button and drag the cursor to form a section. Release the mouse button. When blinking dotted lines appear, right-click them and select "Layer via Copy." Nothing changes on the picture, but notice a new Layer 1 in the Layers palette with the piece from the picture.

Step 6

Click the Background layer in the palette to give it focus and repeat the "Rectangular Marquee Tool" process to create additional pieces with your preferred size, width and height requirements. For each new piece, start back again on the Background layer of the palette. Each new piece will add a new layer to the palette.

Step 7

Right-click the Background copy layer, select "Delete Layer" and click "Yes." Click any of the small eyeball icons to the left of each layer to "hide" that piece of the picture. This doesn't delete the piece, it just removes it temporarily from the screen until you click the eye again, letting you see how each piece looks.