How to Combine Images in Photoshop to Create Collages for Your Social Media Site

By Janine Warner, David LaFontaine

After you made all of the necessary adjustments to the picture you’re using on your social media profile, the next step is to combine and arrange them to form a new collage.

If you are creating a design for a specific social media site, it’s helpful to start with a template to guide the arrangement, sizing, and placement of images. Here is a template you can use for your Facebook cover image. You can download it at the Digital Family website.

You need photo-editing software that gives you precise control over multiple layers, allowing you to move, resize, and crop multiple images, such as Photoshop (shown in the following steps), Photoshop Elements, or GIMP. (Sorry, iPhoto users.)

You could get a little more fancy, but here is a simple way to combine multiple images into a template in Photoshop:

  1. Open a social media profile template in your favorite image editing program.

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  2. Open each of the images that you want to assemble into a collage. Copy and paste each image into the template.

    Alternatively, you can choose File→Place, navigate to your stored images, click to choose each one in turn, and then click the Place button in the Place dialog box. Consider using Place when importing multiple images into a new composition because it’s more efficient and requires fewer steps than opening each image before you can copy and paste.

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  3. The selected image(s) are added to the template, with resizing handles active on the corners. To resize or move the photo

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    • Resize: Click and drag the little square boxes on the corners of the image to resize the photo to fit the template.

    • Rotate: Click and drag outside the photo box to rotate the photo.

    • Move: Click and drag inside the photo box to move the photo in your composition.

  4. Repeat Steps 2 and 3 to add as many images as you want to fill in the space in the template.

    Click and drag to position the images; click and drag the corners to resize them within the template area.

    Don’t worry if they bleed over the edges a little.

    You can click and drag to reorder the photos in the Layers panel. This will affect which photos appear to be “on top” of each other.

    Images that are listed above other images in the Layers Panel are displayed so they will overlap in the workspace. By changing the overlap of images, you can preserve details in one layer while obscuring things in another.

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  5. Arrange the layers in the Layers panel to preview how your design will look on Facebook.

    In the Layers panel, make sure the layers are arranged so that the layer named Background frame is at the top of the layer stack, but just below the layer named Profile image. With these layers in position, you should get a good idea of how your cover image and profile image will fit together when uploaded to Facebook.

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    To prevent the template from appearing in the version you upload to Facebook, you’ll want to turn all of the layers off, except the ones in your cover design, when you save the image after you’re done.

  6. Click the Zoom tool (it looks like a magnifying glass and the keyboard shortcut is Z) and adjust the size of the image as necessary.

    Double-click on the zoom tool to set the image to 100%. Click the image with the Zoom tool selected to enlarge it. Alt (or Option) click to reduce the size.

  7. Save your work.

    The next step is to crop just the part you’ll upload, but you may want to preserve your design at this point so that you can come back and edit it again later.

  8. Crop just the part of the image that will serve as your Facebook Cover design.

    1. Select the cropping tool from the toolbar.

    2. Click and drag to position the crop marks around the image, or images you’ve assembled in the template.

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    3. Click and drag the corners to resize them within the template area.

    4. Turn off the profile image layer and any other layers from the template that are visible by clicking the small eye icon next to each layer in the Layers panel.

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    5. When you have the cropping tools set, double click in the middle of the selected area to complete the crop.

  9. Choose File→Save for web.

    The Save for Web dialog opens.

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  10. Adjust the settings and then click Save.

    Photoshop saves a copy of the image and prompts you to give it a name.

  11. Enter a name and click Done to save the image and close the dialog.