by Julieanne Kost

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December 21, 2009

When cloning in previous versions of Photoshop, it was often difficult to align an area containing a repeating pattern (such as a picket fence or a brick wall). The work-around was to add a new (empty) layer and (with the Clone Stamp tool selected) check the option “Use All Layers” on the Options bar. This enabled the cloning information (from the other layers) onto the empty layer and then, if necessary repositioning the layer to align the information.
In PSCS4, the Clone Stamp panel added the ability to display and overlay of the sampled area “Clipped” to the size of the brush making it much easier to align the information to be cloned to the original layer. And you can still cone to an empty layer and select what you want to sample – “Current Layer”, “Current and Below” or “All Layers” from the Options bar.
If you prefer to uncheck the “Clipped” option on the Clone Source Panel, Option (Mac) / Alt (Win) + Shift will temporarily display the overlay.
In addition, checking the Show Overlay option and unchecking the “Clipped” option in the Clone Stamp panel displays all of the contents of the information set as the source – (which might be very helpful when working with video and “onion skinning” from one frame to another).
Finally, if you do decide to check the option to Show Overlay and don’t choose to check the Clipped option, it might be helpful to check the Auto Hide option – this will show the source information (to be cloned) as you align its position, but as you start to clone, the source information is hidden yet will be displayed as you mouse-up.