merge files photoshop

How to merge two PSD files in Photoshop

PSD files can be tricky…

I usually work with high resolution Photoshop illustrations with lots of layers and I frequently need to move groups of layers from different PSD files. I used to drag the layers manually from one PSD file to another one which is a pain if you want to keep the elements exactly in the same position into the canvas.

Want to merge different PSD files and don’t know how to do it?

Bad news is… you can’t merge Photoshop files in a literal sense. Good news is… that you can move the content from one file to another one and I’m going to show you the easiest way.

What is the faster way to merge 2 PSD files?

The best way to merge or combine 2 Photoshop files is by using “Duplicate” feature.

Open both Photoshop documents.
Right click on the layer/ group and choose Duplicate.
Choose document of destiny B.
Your layer/group is moved to document B exactly in the same position.

If the canvas have the same dimensions they snap exactly to the same position, this is great when you work with lots of high resolution layers. You can also move the layers to a new document that Photoshop will create, it will have the same dimensions as the original canvas.

Alternatively you can use this path:

  1. Open file A and file B
  2. In canvas A select the layers (or groups) that you want to move to file B
  3. Go to top menu Layer> Duplicate Layers
  4. Choose document B as destiny… and done!

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

Sergio Ordoñez Suanez
[email protected]

I'm the created of all the content in SOSFactory and I'm here to help you, so feel free to ask any doubt you have and I will reply as soon as possible.

  • Pedro Marques
    Posted at 01:16h, 25 March Reply

    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
      Posted at 01:21h, 25 March Reply

      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
        Posted at 22:23h, 23 October Reply

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

  • Dianita
    Posted at 03:48h, 25 March Reply

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

    • Sergio Ordonez
      Posted at 11:46h, 25 March Reply

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

  • angel rodriguez leon
    Posted at 18:23h, 25 March Reply

    wow so usefull !! thx n_n

  • Don Felipe
    Posted at 08:05h, 30 March Reply

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

  • Arque
    Posted at 20:22h, 27 May Reply

    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
    Posted at 01:08h, 05 June Reply

    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
    Posted at 01:08h, 05 June Reply

    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
    Posted at 20:21h, 21 August Reply

    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
    Posted at 11:36h, 01 September Reply

    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
    Posted at 08:48h, 19 September Reply

    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
    Posted at 09:12h, 27 September Reply

    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
    Posted at 07:06h, 13 October Reply

    I will never forget this tip, thanks idol

  • Agnieszka Swistun
    Posted at 12:55h, 13 May Reply

    great tip,thx

  • Fiona778
    Posted at 18:10h, 03 June Reply

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

  • Jhonatan -
    Posted at 00:50h, 22 June Reply

    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
    Posted at 14:43h, 17 July Reply

    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
    Posted at 17:13h, 30 July Reply

    Amazing! thank you 😀

  • Abinash Mohanty
    Posted at 08:33h, 27 September Reply

    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
    Posted at 05:43h, 23 October Reply

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

  • ron beckett
    Posted at 01:51h, 11 September Reply

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

  • Jannatul
    Posted at 11:59h, 14 May Reply

    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
    Posted at 19:29h, 07 August Reply

    Thanks!!! This has been driving me crazy.

  • Rocket
    Posted at 15:14h, 20 March Reply

    Life saver!!!

  • Alicia Busick
    Posted at 02:44h, 25 March Reply

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

  • Boni Meredith
    Posted at 22:09h, 22 April Reply

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

  • Mandy
    Posted at 18:58h, 07 July Reply

    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
    Posted at 17:40h, 20 February Reply

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

  • Aura Design
    Posted at 16:53h, 23 June Reply

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

  • Timmehtimtims
    Posted at 11:20h, 05 June Reply

    Nice one! Worked a charm!

    • sergio ordonez
      Posted at 07:00h, 06 June Reply


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