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How to copy and duplicate a layer in Photoshop?

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If you’ve used Photoshop for a certain period, you know that the very basic of how manipulation or editing works in photo editing tool is by adding each edit to a layer of its own.

The advantage of this layered approach is flexibility. No matter how deep you are in an edit, you can always go back and delete a layer and hence, undo any changes made to that layer. This non-destructive style of editing is one of the most significant advantages of using Photoshop.

Just as deleting layers can be helpful during editing, duplicating them can be too. In this article, we talk about how you can copy or duplicate layers in Photoshop.

Also read: How to remove people and objects from your photos in Photoshop?

How to duplicate layers in Photoshop?

Step 1: Fire up Photoshop and load the image you want and proceed with your edits.

I’m going to use this photo I took in Nakhas, Lucknow

Step 2: Once you’ve got to a point where you’d like to copy a layer, select the desired layer.

Step 3: Right-click on the layer. Select Duplicate Layer from the menu.

Enter the name of the layer and the destination document. If you have multiple documents open in photoshop, you can choose a different destination document, and the layer will be copied there.

You’ll see that the duplicated layer will show up above the original layer.

Also read: How to restore out of focus photos in Photoshop?

How to copy a layer to another document in Photoshop?

However, if you simply want to copy an existing layer to another document in Photoshop, you can either use the aforementioned method or follow the steps mentioned below.

Step 1: Make sure you’ve selected the layers you want to copy. Then click on the Select option from the toolbar at the top and then click on All.

Step 2:  Then click on the Edit option from the toolbar at the top and select Copy.

Step 3: Switch to your destination document and click on the Edit option from the toolbar at the top and select Paste.

You’ll see that the new layer appears on top of the existing layers. Alternatively, you can also select the Move tool and simply drag and drop the layer from one document to another.

Also read: How to blur something in Photoshop?

Yadullah Abidi

Yadullah Abidi

Yadullah is a Computer Science graduate who writes/edits/shoots/codes all things cybersecurity, gaming, and tech hardware. When he's not, he streams himself racing virtual cars. He's been writing and reporting on tech and cybersecurity with websites like Candid.Technology and MakeUseOf since 2018. You can contact him here: