How to Use the Clone Stamp Tool in Photoshop CS6 - dummies

How to Use the Clone Stamp Tool in Photoshop CS6

By Barbara Obermeier

The Clone Stamp tool, one of Photoshop Creative Suite 6’s more popular tools, always arouses a “Wow,” “Cool,” or similar remark of approval when demonstrated.

The Clone Stamp tool works its magic by taking sampled pixels from one area and cloning them onto another area. Cloning works better than copying and pasting because cloning allows you to retain soft edges on details such as shadows, giving you a more realistic duplicate image.

Follow these steps to clone an element:

  1. Open an image and select the Clone Stamp tool from the Tools panel.

    Press the S key on the keyboard.

  2. Select a brush and change its size or hardness in the Brush Preset picker to better control the area that you’re cloning.

  3. Select the Blend Mode of your choice on the Options bar.

  4. To make the clone more or less opaque, use the Opacity slider or text box on the Options bar.

  5. Specify how fast the Clone Stamp tool applies the clone by adjusting the Flow Rate percentage.

  6. Select the Airbrush option for airbrushing capabilities, if desired.

  7. Select or deselect the Aligned option, depending on your preference.

    With Aligned selected, the clone source moves when you move your cursor to a different location. If you want to clone multiple times from the same location, deselect the Aligned option.

  8. Select the All Layers option from the Sample drop-down menu to clone part of an image with multiple layers.

    Selecting this option enables you to sample pixels in all the visible layers for the clone. If you select the Current Layer option, the Clone Stamp tool clones only from the active layer. If you select the Current & Below option, you sample pixels from the current layer and all layers below it.

  9. If you select All Layers in Step 8, you can choose whether to ignore any adjustment layers when cloning. To do so, click the Adjustment Layer icon on the Options bar.

    By ignoring adjustment layers, you may prevent the bizarre results that can sometimes occur by double-applying your adjustment layers during the cloning process.

  10. Choose Window→Clone Source to open the Clone Source panel. You can also click the Clone Source panel icon in the Options bar (just left of the Blend Mode options). Specify the following options:


    • Sampling Sources: In Step 11, you define a sampling source by Alt-clicking (Option-clicking on the Mac) the area of the image that you want to clone. However, if you want to create multiple sampling sources, you can do so in the Clone Source panel by selecting a different Clone Source button and repeating this Alt-clicking (Option-clicking on the Mac) process on other areas of your image.

    • Transformations: Adjust the rotation, position, or scale of your clone. Select the link icon to maintain your Width (W) and Height (H) aspect ratio. Click the small curved arrow below the link icon to reset your transformation settings.

  11. Alt-click (Option-click on the Mac) the area of your image that you want to clone.

  12. Click or drag along the area where you want the clone to appear.

    While you drag, Photoshop displays a crosshair icon along with your Clone Stamp cursor. The crosshair represents the source you’re cloning from, and the Clone Stamp cursor shows where the clone is being painted. While you move the mouse, the crosshair moves also. This provides a continuous reference to the area that you’re cloning. Try to clone your entire object in one fell swoop so it doesn’t get fragmented.

    [Credit: © Image #11649501]
    Credit: © Image #11649501


  13. Save the image and close it.