Tutorial: Clone Tool

Ever get a great shot only to discover that you had your finger over the lens? Don’t despair; simply use the Clone tool to remove your appendage (from the photo, that is). Cloning lets you paint over part of your photo by copying another part of the photo. Let’s get started.


screen shot of a photo with thumb in corner1. Open Photo

Open your photo in our photo editor by dragging it to the “Edit a photo” launch box on the home page. You can also open a photo by clicking “Open” once you’re in the Editor.


screen shot showing Clone effect within the Effects tab2. Choose Clone Tool

Click the Effects tab and scroll to the bottom to find the Clone tool. You can also find the Clone tool in the Touch Up tab.


screen shot showing dotted circle that identifies clone source 3.  Select Clone Source

When you move your cursor over your image you’ll see a dotted circle, which identifies the clone source (the area you will copy). Before you start, adjust the “Brush size” slider to fit the area you’re cloning and the “Brush hardness” slider to set the fuzziness of your edges.

Once you have your brush ready, click on the area you want to copy. In our example, we’re going to copy the clouds over the thumb.


screen shot showing bad thumb area getting painted over

4. Paint over the unwanted object

Move your mouse over to the area that you want to paint over (your target area). You’ll see that you have a circular cursor. Click and drag your mouse to paint. You can see that the dotted “source” target moves along to show you what you are copying.

You may need to click to choose a new source target during this process to keep finding the right patch to paint over.screen shot of zoom control

Tip: Use the Zoom Control by clicking the percentage number in the lower right corner to zoom in; this helps if you’re cloning small details. Switch to the eraser to paint any original parts back in.


screen shot showing finished image

5. Save

Click “Save” on the top toolbar when you’re satisfied with your work, and you’re done!

Check out another helpful article on clone, here.

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