A model standing in front of a bright wall composed of a mac-and-cheese pattern with Pattern tool icon overlaid


Add character to your creations with Photoshop patterns.

From flower patterns to pixel patterns, tileable images can enliven your design projects.

Say it with patterns.

While patterns usually aren’t the focus of an image, they can transport your work by communicating with just a few colours or shapes. A simple black-and-white square pattern immediately calls chessboards to mind. Tartan and plaid can remind viewers of their travels in Scotland and paisley patterns call to mind Iran and India. Polka dots recall retro mid-century modern design and floral patterns evoke images of high fashion.

Even in the background or as an added bit of colour, patterns can bring depth, emotion, ideas and associations — and give you many different ways to help elevate your art.

What is a Photoshop pattern?

Patterns in Photoshop are tiled or repeated images that scale to fit a specific area. Photoshop includes several pattern presets. The Preset Manager tool in Photoshop includes free and customised patterns, imported patterns and Creative Cloud default patterns. Patterns typically use the PSD or PNG file formats.

Pattern libraries, sometimes known as pattern packs or pattern sets, are files that contain one or more different patterns and use the PAT file format. In general, vector graphics make for more flexible patterns, especially if a pattern incorporates something like a logo. Vector graphics are not made up of a preset pixel grid. Rather, they rely on geometric shapes that always look the same at any resolution. Because vector graphics scale, they remain high-quality and high resolution regardless of size.

How to add patterns in Photoshop.

You can add patterns in a Photoshop document by creating a new layer and by using the Pattern Stamp tool. 

The silhouette of a man is filled with green trees using a pattern fill layer with dialogue box overlaid

Patch holes with a pattern fill layer.

Sometimes you want to preserve the original version of an image you’re adding a pattern to. Using a pattern fill layer is a non-destructive way to add a pattern to your work. Layers can also be easily saved as pattern templates and used for other projects.

A Pattern Stamp tool is used on art in the style of Lichtenstein with pattern stamp icon overlaid

Fix smaller areas with a pattern stamp.

The Pattern Stamp tool imprints a pattern directly onto an existing image. It is fast and effective, but you can’t easily undo changes to the layer that it’s applied to.       

How to make a pattern in Photoshop.

Follow these steps to create a new pattern in Photoshop.

1. Open it:

Open the image you want to use as a pattern.

2. Select it:

Got to Select › Select All to fill the entire layer with the image.

3. Define it:

Go to Edit › Define Pattern. Then, open the Define Pattern dialogue box and go to Name Selection › OK.

4. Pattern it:

Open a new image. Go to Edit › Select Fill to open the Fill dialogue box. Then go to Select Customised Pattern and choose how the pattern will display.

5. Finish it:

From the available options, select a customised pattern. Click Apply and then choose a blending mode for how your pattern intersects with the rest of the image. Click OK.     

Adobe Photoshop

Do more with Adobe Photoshop.

Explore patterns with Photoshop tutorials.

Create abstract patterns, fabric patterns, retro dot patterns and more with these step-by-step guides.

An abstract landscape watercolour painting is made using Pattern Stamp tool with its icon overlaid

Paint with a pattern.

Use the Pattern Stamp tool to give photos an impressionistic, hand-painted effect.

Muted pink floral wallpaper created by Paul Trani highlighting floral pattern making in Photoshop

Create seamless patterns in Photoshop.

Watch Paul Trani create, adjust and work with floral patterns. Find out how little changes can yield big results across patterns.

Pastel floral wallpaper is created using pattern preview in Adobe Photoshop

Pattern Preview.

Take a look at how an image will appear as a repeating pattern in real time as you make adjustments.

Business materials for a wheat farm are created using pattern libraries and presets in Adobe Photoshop

Manage pattern libraries and presets.

Work with gradients, fonts and presets and organise your patterns into sensible groups.

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