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Patch Tool in Photoshop

Photoshop never disappoints with its amazingly helpful tools. This makes Photoshop a complete photo editing software. One of many reasons that photographers use it is to perform photo manipulation such as removing objects. Removing small distractions and spots is the most common practice in Photoshop. Among many tools that can help you remove spots and marks from a photo, on the top of the list is the Patch Tool in Photoshop. Keep reading to learn how to use the Patch Tool.

Where is the Patch Tool Located

Adobe sometimes changes the locations of its tools during the updates. As it is one of the most popular tools in Photoshop, thus there is a simple shortcut assigned to it. For both Windows and Mac OS you can press “J” to activate the Patch Tool.

Otherwise, it is located on the main left-hand side menu. If it is not there, then you can find it in the drop-down menu of the healing brush tool.

How to use the Patch Tool to Remove Minor Spots

Nothing is more frustrating for photographers than if the photos they spent the whole day capturing turn out with small distractions and spots in the frame. Suppose there is a tiny water spot in the corner or an unwanted object. Then whole aesthetics of the photo can be affected. Solving this might have been a problem before we had such amazingly advance photo-editing software.

With the Patch Tool in Photoshop, you can easily cope with the issue of minor spots and distractions. You can also use it to work on the larger parts of the image if they are less complicated.

Step 1 – Open the Photo

By looking at this heading, the first thought that comes to mind is that why are we highlighting the most certain step. The reason basically is to make this a separate heading is to put the focus on the importance of opening a RAW file. If you have shot in RAW, then you are at a major advantage here. Editing RAW photos work out to be perfect as none of the information is lost.

Open the image and then click on the Patch Tool from the menu or simply press J.

Step 2 - Select the Area

To select either an area or object, draw around it with the cursor. Carefully select the outline. If the object is present along with the subject or an important part of the frame, then it can disturb the photo and its composition. After selecting the object, dotted lines will appear around it. If the selection is not accurate, then simply press Ctrl + D / Command + D to unselect.

Step 3 – Removing the Object

Now that the object that we want to get rid of is selected, so we will get to the main part. Click in the middle of the selection and drag it to the area that you think can replace it without affecting the image. After dragging you will notice that the selection is now filled with the pixels from the reference area.

Editing portrait in Photoshop with Patch Tool

How to Replicate Objects with the Patch Tool

Another great way that the Patch Tool can help is by replicating objects with simpler surroundings. Let’s see how you can do that.

Step 1 - Creating a layer

After opening the image in Photoshop, create a duplicate layer, so that we can have a backup if edits create are a mess. You can duplicate the layer by right-clicking on the layer and then selecting the “duplicate” option.

Step 2 – Copying the Object

This process will be a little different from what we did earlier. While using the patch tool, make sure that you have enabled the content-aware option.

Now create a selection around the area where you want to replicate the object. Then, instead of dragging, this time we will make another selection around the object we want to copy. After that, we will drag the empty selection towards the object.

Finally, your object now has a replica in your desired part of the frame. You can also move it around using the transform tool and create more copies. It is a common practice in wildlife and nature photography when there is a need to include more animals to fill out the frame.

Step 3 – Finalizing:

Make the necessary adjustments to blend in the changes to get the perfect photograph.

Conclusion

You can also use other tools in Photoshop to perform similar tasks, however, the Patch Tool makes it easier and manageable. The only way to become a master of this tool is through practice. So start experimenting with the Patch Tool and create some beautiful photos.

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