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Quick tip: How to combine two PSD files in Photoshop

25 March 2011

Photoshop, Tutorials

Quick tip: How to combine two PSD files in Photoshop
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For some weeks I have been working with high resolution files with lots of layers and time to time I need to reuse and move groups of layers from different PSD files.

I used to do it by dragging the layers from one archive to another one, the issue is you need to disengage the window, select the layers and drag them. Then you need to move the layers to the right position.

But there is an easier way to move lots of layers to a different file, if the files have the same dimensions they go exactly to the same position, this is great when you work with lots of layers in high resolution.

To combine 2 PSD files y Photoshop:

  1. Open both files
  2. Select the layers or groups you want to move to another file
  3. Go to Layer> Duplicate Layers
  4. Choose the document of destiny… and done!

I’m a Photoshop user since its 6th version and I just discovered this command… what a tool!

This post was written by:

- who has written 58 posts on SOSFactory Blog.

My name’s Sergio Ordoñez I´m illustrator, graphic and web designer. A selection of my work is included at SOSFactory. If you want to support this blog, please be an active member: tweet the posts, participate in the discussions and the exercises :)

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  • Pedro Marques

    Hello Sérgio, I`m sorry, but i must be missing something, it didn’t work, i`ve selected the layers, than Layer>Duplicate Layers, than what do i have to do, just selecting the other file, does n`t work, can you help?

    • Sergio Ordonez

      You must open both documents.

      After Layers> Duplicate layers… Did you choice the document where you want to place the layers (in the drop down menu)?

      Which version are you using?

      • Alex

        It just moved the layers for me on the latest Photoshop. Images did not transfer with them.

  • Dianita

    Excellent tip. Maybe you can explain it with some images?

    • Sergio Ordonez

      Dianita, it’s that simple that I thought it was not needed.

  • angel rodriguez leon

    wow so usefull !! thx n_n

  • Don Felipe

    omg – so useful and yet so simple! s.o.s., u made my day so much easier.

  • Arque

    Tambien cuando arrastras una capa de un archivo a otro y quieres que conserve la misma posicion en el nuevo archivo, solo aprietas shit mientras la arrastras… esto me lo enseño un buen amigo!

  • Curtis

    Ha ha I am laughing so hard because for years i’ve been merging files the hard way and it’s ridiculous that I could have been doing this. So easy. I’m embarrassed lol.

    Thanks Sergio.

  • Curtis

    Ha ha I am laughing so hard because for years i’ve been merging files the hard way and it’s ridiculous that I could have been doing this. So easy. I’m embarrassed lol.

    Thanks Sergio.

  • ele

    Thank you so, so much for this tip! I was thinking there must be an easier way to join two psd files and their many, many layers. You saved me a lot of work. Thank you!

  • Masika1

    Thank you very much, No more flattened images when i need to re scale them. Legend.. I have used Photoshop for almost a year now and have only seen this protip :(

  • Friday B

    Hi Sergio
    I am really impressed, it is surprising how large PS tricks can be. its nice of you dropping this new one, i am surely going to use it a lot. Thanks

  • Anonymous

    One of the best tools ever! Thanks for posting that it now saves me so much time when opening pdfs of 100 or so ID badges to convert to jpegs for our print software! Nice one

  • rafael

    I will never forget this tip, thanks idol

  • Agnieszka Swistun

    great tip,thx

  • Fiona778

    oh my god this was SO FRIGEN HELPFUL!!! ive been trying to do this forever, i never even thought of this. thanks!

  • Jhonatan –

    Una vez más gracias Sergio, espero volver a ver más post en
    tu blog ya que en cada artículo dejas un aporte interesante. Saludos

  • Vern

    Worth also mentioning that this is also a good way to create a new PS file from a current work in progress. With only one file open select Duplicate and then select “New” in the file for file selection. Give it a new file name and voila a duplicate of the original file is created.

  • Lisa B

    Amazing! thank you :D

  • Abinash Mohanty

    Thanks Sergio for the gr8 tips. Actually i was having the same issue while exporting fireworks files to psd which was exporting as multiple files. My html developers wanted in psd file with combined :( . So this is a way smarter work rather than drag and drop from one file to another. Thanks again :)

  • irondesing

    bacan espero utilzarlo pronto en algun trabajo, hoy hice algo de cambio de capaz, pero recien hoy leor el dupliciar capas

  • ron beckett

    there was a video you did where your character was an mma fighter. how did you add the text onto the character?

  • Jannatul

    I did not try it before to combine two psd file in one psd, but after seeing your post it seems not so difficult now. Will try my own now.

  • Gena

    Thanks!!! This has been driving me crazy.

  • Rocket

    Life saver!!!

  • Alicia Busick

    Oh my gosh!!! Thank you!!!!

  • Boni Meredith

    This saved me hours and hours of work. Thank you.

  • Mandy

    Thank you for this tips! I was searching for hours how to save 2 PSD files into 1. There you just saved me hours of agony.

  • Christopher Guerra

    Muchas gracias! llego un momento en que pensé que no se podía lograr hacer eso, por mi falta de conocimiento.

  • Aura Design

    i don’t know how much to tnk u bro, u saved me a lots of headache