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How To Put One Picture On Top Of Another In Photoshop

Photoshop is an incredible tool that made our imagination take further steps. With the help of this tool, we can edit our personal image or commercial image in minutes. The camera is the best gear to capture any mesmerizing moment. But with Photoshop, you can make the image far better by adding more depth and saturation, and so much more.

Now, if you are a beginner who is learning photoshop, there might be many questions in your mind. And this is a basic- How to put one picture on top of another in photoshop. There are many ways to do that here you will know some of them.

Placing one image over the other

As we already said, there are a couple of ways to do that so, let’s get into this in a more profound and practical example.

Open Images in Photoshop

First, start Photoshop from the app bar on your Windows or Mac. And then click on files, then open and using Ctrl or Cmd button select both images you want to work on. Now the photos will appear in two different tabs. You have to take any of the images as your base.

After you select your image now, you have to take the help of the selection tools. There are multiple options in the selection tool panel. You can choose the Rectangle selection tool to put the second image in a rectangular shape. And for round shape, select the rounded selection tool.

Now your placement might not be a perfect shape then you will have to choose lasso tools. You can select any of the lasso tools, either magnetic or polygon, but the polygon is a better choice for a beginner.

Using the tool select the area where you want to put your second image. Area selection with a lasso tool is just like using a pen tool. When you click on a point and then click on the following point, you get a straight line.

Suppose your target is to place the other image as a rectangular shape. Now start from one corner and click the next 3 points to make a rectangular selection shape. Connect the last and starting pointers to select the portion you draw using the polygon tool.

Photoshop will mark that as a selection area where you will be able to place or edit in that layer.

Copy Second image

Now you have to copy the other image from the next tab. Select the tab that holds your photo and click on your image. Now press Ctrl + A or Cmd + A on mac to select the image. After you see a selection border around your image, press Ctrl + C on Windows or Cmd + C on mac.

Paste as Paste into

When you have copied the image now, you have to put it into the previous selection area. For that, first, click on the base image tab. Now you have to paste the image as paste into. To do that, take your cursor to the top menu bar. Select “Edit” and then click on “Paste into.” You can also use the keyboard shortcut Ctrl + Shift + V or Cmd + Shift + V.

Now photoshop will make some adjustments to the image. It will add a new layer over the background image and place the second image in the selection area. Also, it will use the area as a layer mask to paste the second image. This feature will hide everything of the copied image beyond the selection area. Only the contents fit on the selection canvas will be visible.

If you don’t recognize the layer mask, look at the layer palettes, and you will see a rectangular box with a hollow circular center. That is active when any contents are inserted as a layer mask.

Resizing the image

It is unlikely to get an image smaller than the selection area. So, if you want to place your image correctly, you will have to resize it. For that, you will have to select the transform tool. Click on the Edit option on the top and then Select Transform and free transform from the dropdown. You can also do the same action using a shortcut Ctrl + T on Windows PC or Cmd + T on Mac.

To make the image bigger or smaller, you will have to click on any corners and drag inwards or outwards. But this has a problem you will have to have to fix it from all four sides. So, when you are increasing or decreasing image size, pres on Shift + Alt (Win) or Shift + Option (Mac) and transform your image holding any corner. This will change the image from the center so that the transformation will be even on all sides.

Once you fixed the placement of your image on the background image, your job is done. Now you can edit it with some more filter and layer style.

Placing an image on the same project

We showed you how you could place any image on another from one tab to another in the previous method. But you can directly place the second image as a new layer on the first image. To do so, there are two ways you can follow.

Method one

Start photoshop from the start menu. Now click on the “File” option and click Open from the dropdown menu. Now locate the file you want to place as the background. Click to select that image and press enter to load it on photoshop.

Now you have to add the second image over the first one. Again click on the “File” tab and hover over the dropdown menu to reach Place Embedded. Now resize the image as per your need and hit the enter key.

Method two

This method is the same as method one, but it’s much quicker and more time-efficient. Open Photoshop on your computer. Now Choose both your Background and foreground image.

First, click on the background image and drag it to the photoshop software and release it to place it on a project.

Again, go to your image folder and click and drag the second image, take your cursor over the background, and release. Your image is now one above another.

You can also read more photoshop alternative software.


Photoshop is an excellent tool to learn. And as a beginner placing one image over another is a huge achievement. This is the start of any great project you will do in the future. We hope you understood how to put one picture on top of another in Photoshop. Now it’s time to use this in real-time.