April 24, 2010

Paste in Place comes to Photoshop & Illustrator CS5

Let’s say you copy some data in Photoshop & want to paste it in the same spot but on another layer. How do you do it?

If you’ve kept the same selection active, no problem: PS will deposit your pixels into that spot. But what if you cut instead of copy, thereby deselcting the original pixels? Or what if you want to paste your pixels at the same coordinates in a different document? Sure, these things can be done (New Layer Via Cut, or Shift-dragging pixels between docs), but the solutions aren’t obvious.

Photoshop CS5, along with Illustrator CS5, introduces the “Paste in Place” command (Shift-Cmd-V/Shift-Ctrl-V). If you’ve ever used Paste in Place in InDesign or Flash, you know what it does, preserving object coordinates when pasting (e.g. copy something in the upper-left corner, then paste it in just the same spot, even in other documents). The command appears under Edit->Paste Special in Photoshop. For bonus points Illustrator also adds “Paste On All Artboards” for pasting data in the same coordinates on each artboard (one of the numerous artboard-related enhancements made in CS5).

There’s always more room for improvement, and I may as well mention that we hoped to make the command work between applications. That way you could, for example, set up a 1024×768 design in Illustrator, copy data to the same coordinates in a PSD of equivalent dimensions, and then copy data to the same coordinates in a Flash Pro project. We ran out of time to make those changes, but if you’d find them useful in the future, please let us know.

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