PS 14 - Moving the layer content from one document to another

22 December, 2013

Duplicating layer or layer group is useful when you want to place any content in the same exact place in another document. You can place the content any of the opened document inside photoshop - psd, jpg, png and so on.

This tutorial will explains everything you need to know about Duplicating the layer or the layer group from one document to another opened document or sending it to a new document.

Title 13.jpg

Duplicate layer window can be reached in three places (fig 1.0)

- 'Right-click' on the layer name and select Duplicate layer
- Select the layer and go to the 'layer palette menu' and select Duplicate layer
- Select Duplicate layer in the 'Layer menu'

If you select a layer you will see 'Duplicate layer', if you select a layer group it will show you 'Duplicate group'

(fig 1.0)

Duplicate Layer window (fig 2.0)

Duplicate As: current layer name. You can enter a new name here, if you wish to change
Destination Document: Document Name
Destination Name: Rename Document

(fig 2.0)

There is an another 'Duplicate' window is available in the Image menu (fig 3.0 - 2)

The duplicate from the image menu will duplicate the full photoshop file into a new file. Everything in the layer will be duplicated. The only change you can able to do is to rename the file.

(fig 3.0)

If the layer is not selected, the 'Duplicate layer' will be disabled (fig 4.0 - 1). But the duplicate from the Image menu can be accessible (fig 4.0 - 2)

(fig 4.0)

Lets duplicate the layer content and see how it creates.

Below i have six circles inside a box. Each one is colored in differently for visual appearance. The document size is 476 x 261.
I'll select the first circle in the second row (fig 5.0 - 2) and right click on the layer 'row2 - 01' and select 'Duplicate Layer...'

(fig 5.0)

In the Duplicate layer window (fig 5.0 - 3) i'll leave the layer name as it is 'row2 - 01', and for the destination i'll select New from the drop-down list and i'll also rename the document to 'isolated pink'

When i click OK in the Duplicate Layer window, it creates a new document with same dimensions as the original and placed the pink circle in the same location (fig 5.1). Also notice there is no default 'Background' (locked layer) in the layers palette.

(fig 5.1)

You can also duplicate multiple layers. Because of the multiple layer selection, you cannot able to rename the layer name. Notice (fig 6.0 - 2), the 'Duplicate as' is disabled

I'll send all these random selected circles to the same photoshop file 'isolated pink' by selecting it from the destination document.

(fig 6.0)

It doesn't overlap any of the circles, instead it places exactly in the same location (fig 6.0 - 3)

we know we can able to create the duplicate and send to a new document which has the same exact size as the original. But what happen if we send these circles to a smaller size document.

(fig 7.0)

(fig 7.0 - 1) i have new document 'Untitled-1' with a dimension of 281 x 154. Instead of layer, i'll select the full circle group in the layers palette (fig 7.0 - 2), notice the Duplicate window name is change from 'Duplicate layer' to 'Duplicate Group' and i'll select the 'Untitled-1' as the destination.

All the contents are placed in the exact same location regardless of the document size (fig 7.1).

(fig 7.1)

You can also drag and drop the layer contents in any opened document.

Since we have duplicated all the circles, i'll drag and drop the box (fig 8.0). When you drag and drop any layer content from one document to another, use the Shift key. This will place the content exactly in the same location, just like duplicating the layer/group through Duplicate window.

(fig 8.0)

you can also drag and drop layers, groups, hidden layers, locked layers and smart objects.

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