How To Use the Clone Stamp Tool

The clone stamp tool is a feature of Adobe Photoshop that many users grow to love quickly. It’s great for retouching photographs and adding artistic flair. Here are some helpful tips for using the clone stamp tool effectively.

Clone Stamp Tool Basics

To practice using this tool, open a colorful image and save it under a new file name. Next, look for the Clone Stamp tool. It has a stamp icon and is located on the toolbar directly underneath the Brush tool.
1. Choose brush settings: Right click anywhere on the screen to bring up a box with Clone Stamp options. Drag the Size slider to the right or left until you’re happy with the brush size.
2. Set the Clone Stamp tool’s point of origin: Hold down the Alt/Option (Windows/Mac) key and left-click on the part of your image that you want to clone. A small crosshair will appear.
3. Begin painting: Now left-click anywhere on the screen. A perfect copy of the area of the image under the crosshair will show up. Hold down the left mouse button and drag it around the screen to clone larger portions of the picture.

Continue playing around with the clone tool until you feel confident with how it works. Use Alt + left-click to set various clone points, and practice painting just the right amount.

Additional Clone Stamp Options

Several drop-down menus and checkboxes appear at the top of the document after selecting the Clone Stamp tool. Here’s what they mean:
  • Opacity: Low opacity settings create transparency affects.
  • Flow: Flow gradually increases opacity the longer you hold down the mouse.
  • Aligned: If this box is checked, the part of the image cloned stays relative to your mouse position.
When cloning, you’re not limited to using the present file. You can capture the background from a different open document using the same process, and paint it into any image you want.

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