How to Use Spot Healing Brush Tool: A Step-by-Step Tutorial

Introduction to Spot Healing Brush Tool

The Spot Healing Brush Tool is a powerful feature in Photoshop. Like a magic eraser, it helps you clean up spots, dust, or blemishes in pictures with just a few clicks. Imagine you have a picture with a little unwanted mark. With an intuitive design, the brush automatically heals targeted blemishness without significant changes to the surroundings. If you are wondering how to use Spot Healing Brush Tool, you are in the right place.

In this article, we will explore the various aspects of this magical tool, providing a comprehensive Spot Healing Brush tool tutorial to use it effectively. We will show you each step and give you tips to become a pro at spot removal in Photoshop. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced user, this guide will help you master the tool and improve your portrait editing skills.

Digital artist enhancing skin appearence on a portrait in Photoshop

Table of Contents

Spot Healing vs. Healing Brush Tool – What's the Difference?

The use of the spot healing brush to enhance the skin in Photoshop.

In Photoshop, the Spot Healing Brush and the Healing Brush are both powerful features especially useful for landscape or product photography where imperfect shots can ruin your mood. However, they have distinct features and are suited for different types of photo repair tasks.

This tool is the go-to for quick, straightforward spot removal. It’s designed to be user-friendly, automatically sampling from the surrounding pixels to heal the selected spot. This makes it ideal for rapidly addressing tiny flaws, such as dust marks or minor scratches.

On the other hand, the Healing Brush Tool offers more precision and control. It requires the user to manually select the source point that will be used to heal the target area. This manual selection allows for greater accuracy in matching the lighting, and shading of the healing spot to the surrounding.

Feature Spot Healing Brush ToolHealing Brush Tool
Sampling AutomaticManual selection required
Control Less, as Photoshop chooses the source areaMore, as the user selects the source point
Used For Minor quick fixes like dust stainsLarger, more complex marks needing precise detail-matching
Complexity Simple and fast to useRequires more time and skill for effective use
Flexibility Limited, as it does not allow for source selectionHigh, offers detailed control over the healing process

Step-by-Step Guide on How to Use the Tool

Tutorial display of using Spot Healing Brush Tool on a computer

Learning when and how to use the spot healing brush tool allows you to effortlessly remove unwanted elements from your images. Here’s a detailed guide to spot healing using this creative tool.

1: Add a Blank Layer

To start, open the image you want to edit in Photoshop. Before making any change, create a new layer to keeps your original photo safe and unchanged. Go to the right panel, and click on the “New Layer” icon, which looks like a sheet of paper.

2: Select Spot Healing Brush

Now, find the it in the toolbar on the left side of your screen. It’s represented by an icon resembling a band-aid with a spot behind it. Click on this icon to activate the tool and get it ready for use.

3: Select the Correct Size

Choosing the correct brush size is crucial for effective spot removal. The brush should be slightly bigger than the spot or blemish you aim to remove. Adjust the brush to increase or decrease it as needed.


4: Choose Brush Type

It offers three types to select from, based on the task at hand. Select the brush that suits the nature of the imperfection you are addressing.

Content-Aware: This type intelligently sources patches from the surrounding area to fill the selected spot, best for complex surfaces.

Create Texture: It synthesizes a texture that matches the selected area, useful for uniform patterns.

Proximity Match: This option uses pixels from the immediate vicinity of the spot for healing, suitable for less detailed parts.

5: Check Sample All Layers Box

Ensure the ‘Sample All Layers’ option is checked in the options bar at the top of the screen. This setting allows the Spot Healing Brush to analyze and use information from all visible layers in the document to retouch the image.

6: Spot Removal

Zoom in close to the spot you wish to remove for a clearer view and accuracy. Position it over the imperfection and click once. Photoshop automatically heals the area, using the selected brush type to blend the spot with the nearby pixels. Examine the result; if the spot is still noticeable or the blending isn’t perfect, you may need to click again or resize the brush for a better match.

Fundamental Settings for Effective Use

Photoshop interface highlighting an amazing option to remove grains and spots from the surface.

Understanding the fundamental settings of the healing brush tool is crucial for effectively using it. Fine-tuning these settings controls how the brush fixes your images to make them more polished and natural-looking.


The “Mode” in the tool dictates how the healing effect blends with the image. “Normal” mode directly replaces the spot with existing pixels. Other modes like “Multiply” darken, while “Screen” lightens the area, offering varied correction effects based on the image’s needs.


The type setting in the Spot Healing Brush Tool decides what kind of fix the tool does. “Content-Aware” type intelligently hides the blemish with a matching patch from the image. This helps in spot removal by making sure the fixed part looks natural. Other types include “Proximity match” and “Create Texture.”



Roundness and angle settings affect the shape of the brush. A round brush is good for small, circular marks. Changing the angle helps when you need to match the direction of patterns in the image, like stripes or grains.


Spacing controls how often it applies the fix as you drag it across the picture. Less spacing means a smoother and more continuous application, which is great for long scratches or lines that need fixing.

Quick Fixes For Spot Healing Brush Tool in Photoshop

Photoshop workspace showcasing Spot Healing Brush quick fixes

The spot healing brush is a favorite for photographers and editors due to its simplicity and effectiveness in cleaning up images. This tool shines in various scenarios where quick and seamless corrections are needed. Try out these quick fixes with Photoshop’s healing brush.

Erasing Skin Imperfections

In portrait photography, removing blemishes with spot healing is invaluable. By sampling the surrounding skin texture and color, it ensures that the edited area blends in naturally. This feature is essential for beauty shots where the skin needs to appear flawless and smooth.

Eliminating Unwanted Objects

For landscape or urban scenes, the spot healing brush tool efficiently removes unwanted elements such as litter, signs, or wires. This spot removal process smartly replaces the removed section with the pixels from nearby areas, maintaining the picture’s overall aesthetic.

Restoring Old Photographs

Old photographs often carry the marks of time, such as scratches, dust, and fading. It is excellent for restoring these images. It can remove these marks effectively, without compromising its original aesthetics.

Useful Keyboard Shortcuts and Commands for Easy Use

The keyboard shortcuts for Photshop that help regarding various operation.

Knowing the keyboard shortcuts and commands for the Spot Healing Brush can speed up your spot removal process. These shortcuts make it easier to switch between tools and adjust settings without breaking your workflow.

ActionAction Shortcut/CommandDetailed Description
Activate ToolPress ‘J’Quickly selects the tool. Press multiple times if it’s grouped with other tools.
Increase Brush SizePress ‘]’Gradually increases the brush size, allowing for broader coverage.
Decrease Brush SizePress ‘[‘Reduces the brush diameter for more precise and detailed spot healing.
Increase Brush HardnessShift + ‘]’Raises the brush’s hardness, resulting in sharper edges.
Decrease Brush HardnessShift + ‘[‘Lowers the brush’s hardness, creating softer edges.
Toggle Sample All LayerShift + ‘J’Switches between sampling from all or just the active layer.
Spot healing brush FAQs. Learn the questions and their answers here.

Frequently Asked Questions

Understanding the limitations of the spot healing brush tool helps you reach your goals in post production, ensuring the images stay top-notch. Here are some frequently asked queries on how to use spot healing brush tool.

What are the steps to use spot healing brush tool?

To use this tool in Photoshop, select it from the toolbar or press the shortcut key ‘J’. Next, pick a brush size that covers the area you want to correct. Then, simply click or paint over the blemishes or spots you wish to heal. Photoshop automatically samples from around the corrected area to blend the spot seamlessly.

How do you use the spot healing brush tool in video?

To use Spot Healing on a video, you first need to ensure the video is in a format that allows frame-by-frame editing. Once you have your video set up, you can apply it to each frame that needs correction. This process involves selecting the tool, resizing the brush, and then removing the unwanted elements in each frame.

What is the command for spot healing brush tool?

The quick command or shortcut key to access this tool in Adobe Photoshop is ‘J’. This shortcut allows for fast switching between tools, streamlining the editing workflow.

Can the Spot Healing Brush Tool remove large objects?

This Tool is designed specifically for small spot removal. For larger subjects, the Clone Stamp Tool or the Patch Tool might be a good option. These tools give you more control and allow for more precise and clean removal of bigger elements.


In my own work, I frequently rely on the Spot Healing Brush Tool to clean up landscape shots. There was this time I captured a beautiful sunset scene, but later noticed a few power lines ruining the view. With the Spot Healing Brush Tool, I easily removed these distractions, and the picture turned out perfect, as if the lines were never there. This tool made spot removal simple and effective, allowing the natural beauty of the landscape to shine through.

If you’re eager to learn more about how to use Spot Healing Brush Tool and other editing techniques, check out our comprehensive Photoshop Course and Lightroom Course. These courses are perfect for anyone looking to master professional-quality edits in both editing software. Join us and start your journey to becoming an editing pro today!

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