Pasting into a Selection

Instead of cutting a hole through an image, you can combine two images by using the Paste Special submenu (Edit→Paste Special). The handy commands in this submenu let you tell Photoshop exactly where to paste an image you’ve copied to your computer’s clipboard:

  • Paste in Place. Use this command to paste the image in the exact same position it lived within the document you copied it from. For example, if the image you copied was centered in the original document, it’ll be centered when you paste it into the new document (even if the two documents have different dimensions). The keyboard shortcut for this command is Shift-⌘-V (Shift+Ctrl+V).

  • Paste Into. Use this command to paste an image inside a selection you’ve made (in other words, inside the marching ants). Photoshop puts the pasted image on its own layer and creates a layer mask for you, as Figure 7-2 illustrates. You see the pasted image only in the selected area; the layer mask hides the rest of it. Keyboard shortcut: Shift-Option-⌘-V (Shift+Alt+Ctrl+V).

  • Paste Outside. This option makes Photoshop paste the image outside your selection. You get an automatic layer mask, although this time the area inside the selection is hidden; the pasted image is visible only outside the selection. This command is useful for swapping an image frame or border. (Adobe must be running low on keyboard shortcuts because this command doesn’t have one.)