Cloning and Healing Tools in Photoshop Elements 12 - dummies

Cloning and Healing Tools in Photoshop Elements 12

By Barbara Obermeier, Ted Padova

The cloning and healing tools in Photoshop Elements 12 are used for effects and when you need to clean up images. Cloning involves duplicating an image area to construct image content that wasn’t in the original photo, whereas healing means (in an Elements context) removing dust, scratches, and imperfections in photos.

Cloning tools

Cloning tools are designed to duplicate image areas. You can use them for artistic effects and for reconstructing, repairing, and enhancing photos. The two tools are

  • Clone Stamp: You use this tool by first sampling an area on a photo you want to clone. To sample, you place the cursor over the area to clone, press the Alt (Option) key, and then click the mouse button. You then move the cursor to an area where the clone image will appear and start painting with the cursor.

  • Pattern Stamp: Use the Pattern Stamp tool to apply a pattern you select from a list of available patterns from the Tool Options panel. Select a pattern and paint with the cursor to apply the pattern to an area on a photo.

Healing brushes

Healing brushes are designed for photo-repair tasks, such as removing dust and scratches. The two Healing Brush tools are

  • Spot Healing Brush: The Spot Healing Brush tool automatically samples neighboring pixels to correct image imperfections in one step. Unlike when you use the Healing Brush tool, you don’t need to sample an area and then apply the brush strokes.

  • Healing Brush: You use the Healing Brush tool by first pressing the Alt (Option) key and sampling an area you want to use as a source for the repair. Then move the cursor to a scratch or another imperfection and paint over the area.

Content-Aware Move tool

The Content-Aware Move tool gives you yet another way to fix photo imperfections. This is a new tool introduced in Elements 12. Suppose that you have a nice photo, but a trash can or some other object appears in the foreground.

The Content-Aware Move tool enables you to easily move the object out of the way. You simply draw a selection around the object you want to move and then drag the selection away, as shown in the figure.