86. About Copying, Cutting, and Pasting Data Within a Selection
Before You Begin
70 About Making Selections
87 Create a New Image from a Selection
88 Create a New Layer from a Selection
90 Copy Data into a Selected Area
As with any other Microsoft Windows program, you can cut, copy, and paste the contents of a selection within the Editor. As I am sure you remember, when you use the Edit, Cut or Edit, Copy command to place a selection on the clipboard, you can then use the Edit, Paste command to paste the contents of the clipboard onto another layer, either in the current or a different image. The Paste command is the only one you can use to transfer data from the Clipboard, so you must use it to paste data from an outside source or from another image into the current image.
You can also use the Paste command to paste data from one layer to another in the same image, although there's an easier way: If you're working within a single image, you can bypass the Clipboard and copy or cut data in one step. Just make a selection and choose either New, Layer, Layer via Copy or New, Layer, Layer via Cut.
When you copy the data within a selection in the Editor, you can either copy the data on the current layer only (using the Edit, Copy command), or on all visible layers of the image (by selecting Edit, Copy Merged). When you use the Copy Merged command, the Editor actually creates a merged copy of the data in all the layers visible in the image. Because the data in the visible layers is merged when you Paste the copied selection, the selection is pasted to a single layer (instead of the multiple layers the data was in when you copied it).
Suppose that you have an image with multiple layers that include both image layers and text, such as the Happy Birthday image shown in this figure. If you choose Edit, Copy with the Ivy layer active, only the contents of that layer are copied, even if you have selected data on multiple layers using various selection tools. If you paste what you've copied, you'll only get data from the Ivy layer. If you choose Edit, Copy Merged instead, it doesn't matter what layer is current or if you've selected data on only the current layer; everything within the selection (data on all visible layers) is copied. When you paste what you have copied, the contents of all layersin this example, the Ivy layer, the text layer, and the layer being used as a text backgroundare all merged into one layer that is pasted onto the new layer or selection.
The Copy command copies data on the current layer only; the Copy Merged command copies all visible pixels within the selection.
As you are aware, when you cut or copy data using the Edit, Copy or Edit, Copy Merged command, that data is placed on the clipboard for storage. Photoshop Elements has its own clipboard, separate from the Windows Clipboard. This means that data you cut or copy within Photoshop Elements is available to be pasted only within Photoshop Elements. Fortunately, Photoshop Elements does provide the ability to paste data into other programs, but you must enable the Export Clipboard option on the Preferences dialog box if the option is not already on (which it typically is). To display the Preferences dialog box so that you can check, from the Editor, choose Edit, Preferences, General. Enable the Export Clipboard option and click OK to save your changes.
The Photoshop Elements clipboard can hold only one selection at a time. Therefore, when you copy or cut a selection, that selection replaces any previous contents in the clipboard. The contents remain in the Photoshop Elements clipboard until you close Photoshop Elements, which clears the clipboard. The next time you open Photoshop Elements, the clipboard will be empty.
Enable the Export Clipboard option in the Preferences dialog box if you want to use data you copy in the Editor in other Windows programs.
If you have enabled the Export Clipboard option in the Preferences dialog box, the situation changes slightly. When you Cut or Copy a selection in the Editor, the selection is automatically copied to both the Photoshop Elements clipboard and the Windows Clipboard. If you close Photoshop Elements, the selection remains in the Windows Clipboard until you copy something else into that Clipboard from another Windows program. With the data safely stored on the Windows Clipboard, you can continue to paste a selection from an Editor image into other applications, even if you close Photoshop Elements.
You can also paste data you've copied to the clipboard (from the same image, a different image, or even a different Windows application) into a selection you've made in the image using the Paste Into Selection option. For example, in an image of a tree trunk, you can make a heart-shaped selection in the trunk and then paste a snapshot of you and your boyfriend you've copied from another image into that heart. Regardless of the size the snapshot was originally, it is reduced to fit into the heart-shaped selection, although it is resized proportionately, so it might not fill the selection. See 90 Copy Data into a Selected Area for more information on pasting clipboard data into a selection.
When you make a selection, instead of cutting and pasting the data in it, you can move the data around on the layer using the Move tool on the Toolbox. Just click inside the bounding box with the tool and drag to move the data around on the layer. You can copy instead of moving by pressing Alt as you drag. You can move or copy data into another image by dragging the selection into the other image window. If you move data on the background layer (and not a regular layer) or a layer that does not support transparency (the option is turned off), the location where the selection was originally positioned on the layer becomes the background color. For example, if the background color for the current image is set to white, the location where the selection was originally located is also white. On regular layers, the vacancy left by the moved data becomes transparent.
Normally, only selected data on the current layer is moved with the Move tool. If you enable the Auto Select Layer option on the Options bar, data on the topmost layer on the Layers palettewhich is also located under the Move tool when you begin draggingis the data that's moved, even if that data is not located on the current layer.
There are two different types of moving you can perform using the Move tool. You can either move the selection marquee, or you can move the contents of the selection. See 81 Move the Selection Marquee for more information on moving a selection marquee.
Use the Move tool to move data in the current selection to a new location on the layer or into another image file.
If you want to remove a specific portion of an image, you can select that area and then delete the selection by either pressing the Delete key on the keyboard or selecting Edit, Delete. You will also notice with this option that the location of the selection is replaced with the current background color if you remove data from the background layer or a layer that does not support transparency. Otherwise, the vacancy is filled with transparent pixels. Like the Move command, the Delete command removes data on only the current layer, even if the selection includes data on other layers, too.