Planet Photoshop

Photoshop’s Hidden Step And Repeat

Although Photoshop doesn’t have a visible Step and Repeat function (like many vector or page-layout programs do), it still has the feature—it’s just a bit hidden. For example, let’s say you have an object on a layer, and you want to duplicate and move or rotate that object a number of times in succession (a typical step-and-repeat), here’s how you can do it in Photoshop CS2: Start by going to the original layer with the object, then press Command-Option-T (PC: Control-Alt-T) to bring up a special version of Free Transform. Now you can transform your object (move it, rotate it, skew it, etc.) then press Return (PC: Enter) to lock in your transformation. You’ll notice that your original object remains untouched on its layer and you now have a new layer with the transformed object. Now press Command-Option-Shift-T (PC: Control-Alt-Shift-T) and this will create a duplicate of your last move, and at the same time it creates a new layer, thereby giving you a step-and-repeat (you have to try this once, and you’ll immediately “get it”).

Posted by Corey Barker

Corey is an education and curriculum developer for KelbyOne. He is a graduate of the Ringling School of Art & Design in Sarasota, FL, with a degree in Illustration. Over the years, Corey has worked as a graphic artist in a variety of disciplines such as illustration, commercial design, large format printing, motion graphics, web design and photography. His expertise in Photoshop and Illustrator have earned him numerous awards in illustration, graphic design and photography. Using Photoshop since version 2, his expertise and creativity have evolved exponentially with every new version, which makes Corey an invaluable addition to the KelbyOne team.

2 comments on “Photoshop’s Hidden Step And Repeat

  1. This Alt-Ctrl-T (on windows) doesn’t seems to be working..
    I use Single Row Marquee Tool and then pressing Alt-Ctrl-T.
    I’m getting this error message: “Could not transform the selected pixels because the selected area is empty.”

  2. Click Rectangle Tool button, click Shape Layers button (it is at the top of your screen), make your shape (a rectangle), Ctrl Alt T, rotate the shape a little, press Enter!
    Now, to make thw same move again and again, press Ctrl Shift Alt T. And again Enter at the end.
    (If you get that message, put Feather=0).