In Photoshop, if you choose View > Show > Layer Edges, a blue border will appear around the currently-selected layer. Is there a way to make the marquee tool select that exact area? I know I can command-click on the layer thumbnail to select all visible pixels in the layer, but is there a way to quickly get a rectangular selection that matches the layer boundaries, or do I need to manually drag the rectangular marquee tool to match the layer boundary that Photoshop is showing me?

  • No inherent way I know of. Certainly no existing command or shortcut. With scripting it should be possible.
    – Scott
    Oct 3, 2012 at 22:58
  • Do you mean selecting the entire canvas? Maybe try cmd + A.
    – Far
    Oct 20, 2012 at 0:56

3 Answers 3


There is not a "simple" way to do this out of the box, but if you want to select the area to copy you can make an action script with:

  • Trim (Transparent pixels - same as showing boundaries of the content in the layer)
  • Select All
  • Shift+Ctrl+C for merged copy, or just Ctrl+C for content in the current layer.
  • Revert back to before Trimming.

I created an action for you with these steps. It can be downloaded from here:

(remember to perform virus check on files you receive by from strangers such as a me).


Depending on what you need to do, I do this very often to copy a layer to a new document cropped to bounding pixels:

  • Alt+Click on the 'eye' of a layer to solo it.
  • Cmd+A(command or control) to select all
  • Cmd+Shift+C to copy everything
  • Cmd+N to create new document, it will automatically create it at the right size
  • Cmd+V to paste



IIRC, cmd+click on the layer in the layers panel.

  • 2
    Thanks for answering, but as mentioned in my question, command-clicking in the layer only selects "visible pixels", not the entire rectangle of the layer boundary.
    – Jordan Lev
    Oct 3, 2012 at 22:10
  • Sorry, missed that in my haste. That sounds like something for javascript, if this is something you want to do more than once. Oct 3, 2012 at 22:36

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