By David D. Busch

You can use the Clone Stamp tool in Photoshop to remove spots and other defects by copying a portion of the surrounding pixels, which should have a similar color and texture, over the ailing portion of your image.

To use the Clone Stamp tool, follow these steps:

  1. Select the Clone Stamp tool from the Tool Palette.

  2. In the Options bar, select a brush of an appropriate size from the Brush drop-down list.

    A soft-edged brush is usually best to provide a soft edge.

  3. If you want to gently copy over the area that you plan to fix and blend the pixels more evenly, set the Opacity slider on the Options bar to less than 100 percent.

    Anything from 25 percent to 90 percent works well — whatever works best for your particular photo.

  4. Make sure that the Aligned check box is selected in the Options bar.

    If you select this check box, you can stop and start the cloning process while retaining the same positional relationship with the origin point that you choose in Step 5. If you don’t select Aligned, each time you begin cloning again, the origin point goes back to the original location.

  5. Place the cursor in an area near the portion that you want to copy over. Press and hold the Alt key (Option key on the Mac) and click in that area to select the origin point.

  6. Move the cursor to the area that you want to copy over, press and hold down the mouse button, and paint.

    The Figure shows you an example of what you can do with the Clone Stamp.

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