A before and after photo of a person playing with a football ball. The football ball is removed in the after photo.


Using the Photoshop Clone tool.

Want to remove something seamlessly from an image? The Clone Stamp tool is your new best friend — remove unwanted elements and retouch fast.

Paint with backgrounds and layers.

The Clone Stamp tool has clone in its name because it can use other areas of your project to hide unwanted items. Use a background texture like a brush to paint over other objects with the Clone Stamp tool, either from a specific layer or the entire image. Read on to discover all you can do with this versatile tool.

A before and after photo of people walking across a pedestrian crossing. One of the people has been erased in the after photo.

Take manual retouching control.

When your work needs attention to detail and careful retouching, improve your images manually, down to the pixel, with the Clone Stamp tool. Erase unwanted items from your canvas like they were never there. 

A before and after photo of people walking across a pedestrian crossing. One of the people has been erased in the after photo.

Paint in precise or broad strokes.

If you need to retouch a specific layer or you want your Clone Stamp to capture its painting texture from a single layer only, you can do that. Or you can sample from all layers. Simply select the layers you want to edit while holding down Command (Mac) or Control (Windows), before getting started.

A photo of a person biking on the street. The person has been partly erased using the Clone Stamp tool.

Explore brushes galore.

The Clone Stamp uses a sample you define yourself and then you can adjust the size of the brush you use to paint with that sample from the options bar. It’s intuitive and gives you greater control over your work. 

A before and after photo of a person walking. The opacity of the person has been decreased in the after photo.

Play with flow and opacity.

With the Flow and Opacity settings in the options bar, you can control the intensity of your retouching. Flow simulates the process of building up layers of ink on paper, while Opacity can give your patterns a lighter touch. 

How to use the Photoshop Clone Stamp tool.

Here’s how you can use the Clone Stamp tool to remove an unwanted area in an image while retaining the background. Grab a stock photo from Adobe Stock to practise. 

1. Open it:

Open the image you want to work with. 

2. Sample it:

Select the Clone Stamp tool and hold the Option key (on Mac) or the Alt key (on Windows) to bring up the crosshairs. Click the area with your cursor that you want to serve as the sample point for your brush when you do your touch-up. 

3. Clone it:

Once you’ve got your sample, adjust any brush settings you want in the top drop-down menus — brush size, opacity, blending modes and so forth. Then paint with your brush over the area you want to retouch. 

4. Adjust it:

If you’re not getting what you want, try adjusting your sample in the Sample menu up top.

When should I use the Photoshop Clone tool?

The Clone Stamp tool has many uses, but here are some you might see quite a bit. 

A before and after photo of a person with tattoos on their body. The tattoos have been removed in the after photo.

Hide hairs, blemishes and more.

When you’re working with portrait photography, often you want your subject looking pristine — the Clone Stamp and other tools like the Healing Brush can help you to remove stray hairs, fix that pimple on picture day and do other touch-ups. 

A before and after photo of a person on a beach with a frisbee in frame. The frisbee has been removed in the after photo.

Get it out of the frame.

An awkward-looking object taking up the frame, like a frisbee flying through your perfect empty beachscape? No problem. With the Clone Stamp tool, you can paint over objects that are taking up space in your compositions.

A before and after photo of umbrellas on a beach. The umbrellas have been cloned in the after photo.

Artfully use duplication and cloning.

While the Clone Stamp tool can hide items, it can also help you to clone different elements of your work that you want to replicate. This can be handy for certain graphic design projects or a repetitive task that could use some finesse.

Adobe Photoshop

Do more with Adobe Photoshop.

Learn more useful retouching and editing skills.

Got part of an image you need to fix? These tutorials for all skill levels will help you to remove unwanted objects, change colours and learn other ways to clean up your work.

An image of a person doing yoga with a transparent background.

Shift the background.

Changing the background of a photo is easier to do than you might expect and this tutorial will teach you how to do it in five steps.

An image of a couch in a sitting room. Half the couch is blue and the other half is yellow.

Colour your world.

With Photoshop, changing the hue, saturation and intensity of your colours is completely within your control. Shift a colour quickly with the help of different toolbars.

A photo of a tropical beach. Half the photo is pixelated.

Pixel party.

If you need to pixelate part of an image for artistic or privacy reasons, this guide will show you how. 

An example of an image being cropped in Photoshop.

Cut what you don’t need.

The Crop tool in Photoshop can reduce or expand the size of your canvas. Discover how to use this versatile tool.

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