How to Use the Clone Stamp in Photoshop

By Techwalla Computers Editor

Photoshop's Clone Stamp tool copies pixels from one place to another. With the Clone Stamp you can delete distracting objects from the image's background, or remove unwanted dirt, scratches or problem areas that aren't improved by the Healing Brush. You can also be creative with the Clone Stamp tool and merge or layer images creating collages or montages.

Step 1

Open your composition. If you want to copy from one image to another, open both a clone source layer and a target or destination layer.

Step 2

Select the "Clone Stamp" tool from the toolbox.

Step 3

Familiarize yourself with the Option bar. This is where you choose your brush size, the type of brush, the blend modes and the opacity percentages.

Step 4

Hold down the "Alt" key in Windows and the "Opt" key in Mac to select the area you want to copy from. Your cursor will change to the Clone Stamp tool. Click to set the source

Step 5

Move your cursor to the area you want to copy to. Click and drag and a crosshair image moves along with the brush cursor. This indicates the center of the clone source.

Step 6

When you release the mouse button, you stop drawing a stroke. Shift and drag to resume drawing the previous stroke.

Step 7

Use "Align" to line up the source with the destination. Generally you leave this feature on. If it is on, you can use multiple strokes to paint on one copy. If you uncheck it, the source is the same for each brush stroke so you are always painting the same thing.

Tips & Warnings

  • Arrange the windows so you can see both the source layer and the target or destination layer.
  • Carefully align your source and target or destination brush so they remain aligned.
  • Work with smaller sections to create a more natural looking image.
  • For fine details, use small brushstrokes and change the source often.