Step and Repeat in Photoshop.

Q: Step and repeat in Photoshop. Is it possible?

A: Step and Repeat is a great feature found in some page layout programs.

The way it works is you select an object and then bring up a dialog window either through a menu or a keyboard shortcut.

In the dialog box you can choose how many copies of the object you want and how much distance between each one. It's a quick and easy way to duplicate and evenly space several copies of the object.

There is no such command in Photoshop Elements but there is a slightly more involved way to produce the same effect.

It's done with a filter called offset. Here's how to do it:

  1. Select the object you want to repeat.
  2. Press Control-J (Mac:Command-J) to put it on its own Layer. Press Control/Command-J again to make another Layer of the object.

  3. With the newest Layer active go up to the Filter menu and choose Other>Offset… This will open the Offset dialog box. Make sure the Preview box is checked. Use this technique if you're not sure of how much you want to space your object out.

    Enter an amount in the Horizontal or Vertical field and observe how far it moves it from the original object. If your not happy with the amount try another amount and see how that looks.

  4. If you want to space the objects a specific amount of say inches, use this technique. You can do some simple math.

    First you need to know the Resolution of your document. Go up to the Image menu and choose Resize>Image Size…. Note the Resolution in whatever increments you prefer. Let's say our document is 72 pixels/inch.

    If you want to space your object in half-inch increments down from the original you would enter 36 in the Pixels Down field.

  5. Now you have your first two objects spaced the amount you want. Make sure the top Layer is active by clicking on it. Go up to the Layer menu and choose Merge Down. Duplicate that Layer by pressing Control/Command-J. Go up to the Filter menu>Other>Offset…. This time in the Pixels Down field enter twice the amount (72 in our example) you entered last time.

  6. Repeat Step 5 to double the amount of objects each time until you have how many you want. Remember to double the amount you used last time in the Amount field of the Offset dialog box.
There you have it. Not quite as easy as the traditional Step and Repeat command, but it gets the job done.

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