Quick Tips

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”).

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2 comments

  1. Björn 15 October, 2008 at 17:10 Reply

    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. Harilaos Xanthiotis 9 April, 2014 at 05:01 Reply

    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).

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