Paste Into Selection for a
Fresh Change of Scene

Paste and Paste Into Selection in Photoshop Elements can be confusing if you don't learn the difference between them. You might already be familiar with the Paste command. You either select part or all of an image and then go under the Edit menu and choose Control-C (Mac: Command-C) to copy your selection. Then you press Control-V (Mac: Command-V). That will paste whatever you originally copied onto a new layer and you can move it to where you want it.

The Paste Into Selection command lets you paste your copy into a different selection. Follow this tutorial to see how this is done.

Open the photo you want to change using Photoshop Elements. Paste Into Selection for Photoshop Elements


Open the image you want to borrow the scene from. Press Control-A (Mac: Command-A) to select the whole image. Press Control-C (Mac: Command-C) to copy the image.


Go to the original photo again and duplicate the Background layer by dragging it onto the Create New Layer icon at the top of the Layers palette. Make a selection of the area you want to replace. In this case it's the window area.


Now go up to the Select menu and choose Save Selection. When the dialog window opens type in a name and click OK. This will let you open your photo anytime in the future and put in a different scene without having to redo your selection. You can just load the saved selection by going to the Select menu and choosing Load Selection.


Now for the moment we've all been waiting for. Go under the Edit menu and choose Paste Into Selection or use the keyboard shortcut: Shift-Control-V (Mac: Shift-Command-V).

The photo you copied back in Step 2 will be pasted into your selection. Move it to the position you want it. It will only appear within the selected area, but you can move it so the part you want to see shows through. When the photo's where you want it, deselect to commit the change. Once you deselect you can't move it anymore.

Here's a look at the before and after:

The Paste Into Selection technique works great for changing the scenery outside a window like we did here, although you might want to do it for a house or building window. Or you could change what you see when you look at a window from the outside (you could paste a person into the window looking out). It's also good for putting a picture into a screen like a TV or camera view finder. Another use would be to change the reflection you see in sunglasses.

That wraps up this Photoshop Elements tutorial on how to use the paste into selection. See more Photoshop Elements tutorials by clicking on the link at the bottom of this page.

If you have comments, questions or requests please don't hesitate to use the Contact form to let me know.

Until next time,

Go to Home page

Go to Tutorials page from paste into selection page

Share this page:
Was this page helpful? Here's another way you can share it...

Would you prefer to share this page with others by linking to it?

  1. Click on the HTML link code below.
  2. Copy and paste it, adding a note of your own, into your blog, a Web page, forums, a blog comment, your Facebook account, or anywhere that someone would find this page valuable.

Search This Site:

Teacher Top 5 Award

Online video lessons by Essential Photoshop Elements

Sign up for my newsletter
BECAUSE… You get

  • 4 Step-By-Step Videos showing Tips being used 
  • One-Page Printable Cheat Sheets of Tips
  • Success! Now check your email to confirm your subscription.

    Get My Photoshop Elements Books for just $3.99 from Amazon

    More Content… follow me:


    "Just a note to say I LOVE your site! There seem to be a few PS Elements tutorials sites, but yours is by far the clearest and easiest to understand. Thanks!" - Ellie

    "Watching your tutorials even about things that I think I know I ALWAYS learn something new. A big thank you!" - Douglas

    "I am thrilled to find such useful and easy-to-understand information for using Photoshop Elements. I can't wait to use your tutorials (especially with my scrapbooking obsession)" - Judy in MS

    Good day Rick, "I very appreciate ALL, ALL of your tutos. Very very clear and useful tips, tricks and techniques of how-to in PSE9. A great great work!" - Hoan

    "Love your tutorials on YouTube. Very clear and helpful. Thanks a bunch." - Rich

    "I love your videos! They have been such a BIG help. I bought the Dummies book, and it's OK, but I do better by watching instead of reading. Kudos to you!" - Cheers, Kathy

    "Thank you for this site! I found it through one of your videos on YouTube. Again, thank you so much!" - Vanessa

    "This is really a truly generous and very admirable website!" - Cheers, Jonas

    Hi Rick! First I've got to say thank you for all the information you share. I can't wait to see the "tips and tricks" you are working on because it sounds like those will help things all come together. I've gone thru several of your tutorials and learn so much. I can't praise you enough for your time and patience. - Vicki.

    "Your website is a great service and I thank you!" - Kind Regards, April

    "A big thanks to you and your website, and the information and help I get from it, its much appreciated." - Rob

    Rick - "Many thanks for your advice, that I will take. A big thank you as well for you outstandingly good tutorials. You do seem to have an amazing knack of making quite complicated tasks seem easy and straightforward. I am a fan!" - With Best Wishes, Tony

    Much more helpful than PS Elements 9 for Dummies book.... Thanks so much for your site..truly easy to follow. - Karin

    Hi Rick. Just wanted to say a big thank you for all of the great information contained in your tutorials. I've stumbled around PS9 for quite a few weeks now and can't believe quite how easily you explain the different aspects. It's way, way more powerful than I imagined and now, for me, usable too. A big, big thank you from the UK. - Guy