How to Use the Patch Tool in Photoshop? Complete Guide

patch tool in photoshop

In Photoshop, there are some features I use frequently and others I hardly ever use. One of my favorite tools is the Patch one. On photographs, the Patch tool removes bothersome blemishes and marks. Continue reading to learn where to find the Patch tool and how to use the Patch tool in Photoshop.

One of the simplest ways to duplicate or remove objects from a photo is using Photoshop’s Patch Tool. No matter how proficient you are with the program, auto-blending makes it simple to achieve quick results.

What is Patch Tool?

In the tool kit for the healing brush is a tool called the Patch Tool. These are the essential tools for editing and fixing your photos. The Patch Tool is mostly used to fix larger areas of an image or remove any flaws or distractions.

Both the Healing Brush and the patch tool were first made available in Photoshop. The texture, lighting, and shading of the sampled pixels are matched to the source area, much like the Healing Brush Tool does. The Patch Tool, however, substitutes selection-defined areas for a brush.

Prior to Photoshop CS6, unlike the Spot and Healing Brushes, the Patch Tool did not allow you to work on an additional empty layer. You had to duplicate the layer you were working on as a result. But Content-Aware was made available for the Patch Tool in Photoshop CS6. Consequently, you can now edit an image using an empty layer. It has become very powerful as a result of this.

The Patch tool stands out because it produces slightly different results on the same selection each time you use it. It is quick and effective for retouching larger portions of your image. Additionally, this can duplicate or clone an object if you are in destination mode. Although I don’t often use it for that, it is still an option. This will be demonstrated later on in the article. There is also the option to use a pattern or Transparent, neither of which I have yet used.

What Does the Patch Tool Look Like?

In the Tools panel, the Patch Tool is concealed behind the Healing Brush tool.

patch tool in photoshop

How to Use the Patch Tool to Replicate An Object

Replicate a portion of a photograph using Photoshop’s patch tool.

Detailed steps quick list:

  • Step 1: Open the Photograph and Create a Layer
  • Step 2: Copy the Shape
  • Step 3: Move the Shape
  • Step 4: Final Touches

Step 1: Open the Photograph and Create a Layer

Photoshop loads my RAW image. I duplicate this image on my PC’s lower right menu by right-clicking the Layer and choosing “Duplicate.”‘

I now have two layers that are the same.

Step 2: Copy the Shape

Making sure the Content-Aware option is selected in the top menu, I click on the Patch tool.

This time, instead of drawing around something I want to remove, I draw a shape where I want to copy the PÄ«wakawaka.

I select the “empty” shape I created, click in the center of it, and then drag it to the Pwakawaka I want to copy.

I’m using two layers that are exactly the same. Therefore, the Pwakawaka I dragged across is still being accompanied by another bird flying beneath it.

Step 3: Move the Shape

It is unusual to observe two identical Pwakawaka flying in a formation at the same time. I therefore made the decision to change it.

Before Ctrl+D or Cmd+D is used to remove the marching ants, and Ctrl+T or Cmd+T is used to activate the Transform tool. I can move around the shape and change the size by doing this.

You should always keep in mind what I did when taking nature photos. Exact replicas of plants and animals appear strange.

Therefore, change the replica’s size and orientation for a more natural appearance. Choose that replica if you want a clever but obviously fake repeated pattern.

Step 4: Final Touches

Sometimes the original area immediately surrounding the shape I moved doesn’t quite blend in with the surroundings.

The Pwakawaka is surrounded by some too dark, dense black tones.

I usually clean up these areas using the Spot Healing tool. However, the Healing Brush has a similar level of potency.


Why is Patch Tool Not Working in Photoshop?

The most common reason for the Patch Tool to not work in Photoshop is that no pixels are selected with an error reading “selected area is empty.” To fix this, set the mode to Content-Aware and check the sample all layers option. The Patch Tool can now be applied to a new layer.

Read More: Why Is Brush Tool Not Working In Photoshop?

Where is the Patch Tool in Photoshop?

The Patch Tool can be found hidden behind the Healing Brush tool in the Tools panel.

Also Read: Where is the Magic Wand Tool in Photoshop?

Conclusion on How to Use the Patch Tool in Photoshop

As with all post-production methods, using the patch tool gets easier (and quicker) with practice.

It’s a great tool for fixing imperfections in photos.

The more mistakes you make to learn from, the better. Experiment with various photos and scenes to see what works best for you. If you want to learn more about PS tools, read our posts below:

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