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Learn Photography

Photoshop Elements > Move Tool >

Move Something

From Photo 1 to Photo 2

Photographers often want to move an object from one photograph to another.

Below, we'll move the yellow chair to another photograph.

If you want to move any entire photograph, go to s.

Do the following, to move an object, such as the chair.

Open Two Photographs

1) Open two photographs.

Here, the chair is going to be moved to the building.

q q

Select the Chair

2) Select the chair.

If you're a beginner, keep it simple at first.

Move something that's easy to select.


Which Selection Tool?

Most often, you'll use the Quick Selection tool.


The chair has a well-defined edge.

If you're selecting something like a cloud, you may need to feather the edge of the selection.

At the top of your screen, go to Select > Feather.

Save the Selection

If the selection was hard to do, save it.

Go to Select > Save Selection.

If the selection is needed later, go to Select > Load Selection.

For more about making selections, go to Selection Tools.

Copy the Chair to a New Layer

3) Press Ctrl + j to copy the chair to a new layer.

Your layer stack will look like this before you do so.

Make sure the Background copy layer is active (highlighted).

Background copy


The layer stack will look like this after you copy the chair.

Layer 1 contains the copy of the chair.

Layer 1

Background copy


Move Layer 1

4) Make sure the Layer 1 is active (highlighted).

5) Select the Move tool.

6) Open the Photo Bin at the bottom of your screen so you can see the thumbnails of your photographs.

Click the Photo Bin icon.

If you're using an older version of Photoshop Elements, at the top of your screen, go to Window.

At the bottom of the drop-down menu, click Photo Bin or Project Bin.


7) Click on the chair and hold the mouse button down.

Don't click and hold on the chair layer.

Click and hold on the image of the chair in the work area.


8) Drag the chair on to the thumbnail of the building in the Photo Bin.


Ta Da!

The chair is now on the building.


Do More with the Move Tool

Use the Move tool for the following actions.

When clicking on the chair, make sure you click on the chair—not on the spaces inside the chair.


You can move the chair around.

Click and hold on the chair, and drag.

Change the Size

To make the chair bigger or smaller, position the cursor on top of one of the corner handles (boxes).

The cursor will change to a double-arrow.

Click, hold, and drag.

If you use one the side handles, the chair will be distorted.

Huge Photograph?

If the photograph that you dragged in is huge, press Ctrl + – repeatedly until you can see the Move tool's corner handles (boxes)in the gray area.

Then, click, hold, and drag the handle inward to reduce the hugeness.



To rotate the chair, position the cursor just outside of one of the corner handles.

The cursor will change to a curved double-arrow.

Click and hold, and drag.

Change the Exposure or Color

Often, the object's exposure or color won't match the destination photograph.

You can use a Levels adjustment layer or a Hue/Saturation adjustment layer to make the corrections.

Do the following.

a) Make sure the chair layer is active (highlighted).

b) Create a Levels adjustment layer.

c) Group the Levels adjustment layer with the chair layer by pressing Ctrl + g (PSE 15: Ctrl + Alt + g).

A tiny arrow will appear on the Levels adjustment layer.

By grouping the Levels adjustment layer and the chair layer, the corrections are only made to the chair layer.

d) Move the sliders to match the exposure and contrast of the chair to match the building.

↓ Levels

Layer 1 (Chair)

Background copy


Extra Credit

I added a face behind the chair.


File > Place

If you want to move an entire photograph—not just part of one, open the destination photograph.

Let's call it Grand Canyon.

Go to File > Place.

The Place window opens.

Navigate to the photograph you want to import.

Let's call it Mars Rover.

Select the Mars Rover photograph and click Place.

The Mars Rover photograph will appear in the layer stack of the Grand Canyon photograph.


Go to:

Make a Collage

Move Tool: Content Aware

Move a Face

The above tutorial is for positioning a face in a photograph in which the person wasn't present.

If you have two group photographs, and you want to move a face from one to the other, use Photomerge Group Shot.

At the top of your screen, go to File > New > Photomerge Group Shot.

Move a Layer.

You know how to move layers in the layer stack.

You can also move a layer from one photograph to another photograph.

• Moving selections: Most Used Methods and Less Used Methods

The Move tool is used to move selections.