Photoshop: How do You Select all the Shapes in Your Environment and make a Clone of all the Shapes Together???

I am asking this question here because I cannot find anywhere that tells you how to this maybe it is because I don't know how to state this question correctly but I put a video link down below that shows what I don't know how to do.

video link

  • 1
    You video seems to have little to no bearing on your question. – Scott Mar 26 '20 at 6:39
  • Hi. Welcome to GDSE. There's no such thing as "a clone" in Photoshop. Are you perhaps are trying to create a Smart Object, or perhaps even a group? – Billy Kerr Mar 26 '20 at 9:43

So if I got this right, you got multiple layers that form a shape... and what you want is to make a selection of all of them put together?

I might be way off, but assuming the goal is a combined selection, here's two methods:

So normally you Ctrl + Left click the thumbnail to make a selection of from a layer. But you can use Shift + Ctrl + Left click to add to the selection. That's what I do in the following gif

List of all the shortcuts relating to this:

  • Ctrl + Left click - Make a selection
  • Ctrl + Shift + Left click - Add to selection
  • Ctrl + Alt + Left click - Subtract selection
  • Ctrl + Shift + Alt + Left click - Intersect selection

enter image description here

Or if you have multiple layers, it might be asking too much to Ctrl + Shift + Left click all of them... So you could do this:

  1. Select (activate) all the needed layers: Left click on the first layer and Shift + Left click on the last layer
    • If you have any layers you want to exclude, or you just want to pick layers from here and there, use Ctrl + Left click.
  2. Duplicate Ctrl + J
  3. Clear layer styles if needed: Right click on any of the activated layers and Clear layer style
    • This is needed only if any of the layers have layer styles that add to the layer size (like "Drop shadow") and you don't want to include it in the selection
  4. Merge Ctrl + E
  5. And now you can make a selection from the new layer's thumbnail by using Ctrl + Left click.

enter image description here

So I'm not entirely sure if selection the selection was just a means to an end in your mind, given that you talk about cloning the shapes... but I did also cover the duplication and merging as a way to get the selection, so maybe this answers the question. If you want the combined shape to be single color, you could recolor the merged shape or make a new layer and fill that with a color.

Convert all Ctrl modifier keys to Cmd if you're using Mac.


To combine multiple layers, you can...

  • Group them in the layer's panel
    • Highlight the layers in the panel and choose New Group From Layers from the Layer Panel menu or hit Command/Ctrl+g

Groups allow you easy access to all the individual layers if needed. However, it's not possible to run things such as a filter on a Group. You can apply layer styles to groups though.

  • Create a Smart Object
    • Highlight the layers in the panel and choose Convert to Smart Object from the Layer Panel menu

Smart Objects allow you to apply filters as if the combined layers were one layer via Smart Filters. However, access to the independent, individual, layers is not as straightforward. You must double-click a Smart Object layer to open a new window if you want access to the internal layers of the smart object..

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