I have an image with a woman, and I need to make an ad (size 260mmx125mm). I want to put the woman to the left side, but then right side becomes empty. So, how I should solve the problem? I have picked the color from image, but it is definitely different than in the actual picture.

Should I use the Clone Stamp Tool in Photoshop, or there is a better way to do this?

By the way, it will be used in print, so I need a good quality.

enter image description here

  • If you have the high quality 300+ ppi photo of her then you might want to Color Correct it so her hair doesn't have all that greenish-blue overtone by it. Could even remove her from the background entirely so you could design your own.
    – Ryan
    Commented Nov 2, 2015 at 18:01

5 Answers 5


A professional technique is to simply add a layer mask with a gradient on one side to soften the edge and duplicate the color or texture on a layer below it. See screenshot of layers below.

It's especially useful if you don't have much texture to copy from or when you need to expand a big part of the background. You can use this technique to duplicate small parts of texture and merge them together without any seam. It's recommended to avoid distorting pixels when possible, especially for print projects since printing often amplifies these distortions.

how to expand a background color or texture in Photoshop layer mask

image layers

This way, the image will:

  • Not have "stretched" or "deformed" pixels (see image below)
  • Will not have a straight cut between the 2 zones, which is not always obvious on screen but visible when printed or on big size projects
  • Can be used with textured backgrounds

  • Can be used for any length/width background without pixel distortion

why I can't use free transform to expand or stretch a background with color or texture in Adobe Photoshop

  • Sorry for asking, but can you please explain by steps or video, how to make it? :/ I do not get it.
    – Monika
    Commented Nov 3, 2015 at 9:15
  • @Monika Do you know how to add a layer mask? There is a link you might want to look at in my answer if you don't know how. A layer mask is used to hide some part of a layer; what will be in black on that mask will become transparent on your real layer. That's why you need to add a black gradient on that layer mask. The goal is to make a transparent gradient on the side you want to expand, and add the background color on a layer under it. The 2 layers will look like they blend perfectly well together, without any "cut line". I added a bigger screenshot.
    – go-junta
    Commented Nov 3, 2015 at 9:57
  • Than you go-meek! I have made it and learned new thing in photoshop.
    – Monika
    Commented Nov 3, 2015 at 14:32
  • Marquee select a portion of the background
  • Copy/Paste it so its on its' own layer.
  • Edit > Transform > Flip Horizontal
  • Align the left edge of the copy to the right edge of the existing background.
  • Edit > Free Transform and stretch the copy to fill the extra area.
  • Then, on additional layers, use clone or healing tools to repair any portions that are out of place (like the slight "glow" around the figure or the edge if needed)

enter image description here

I selected a bit too much background and got more of the glow than I'd really want. If I made the marquee selection thinner and tried to avoid that glow, the end results would be better.

Photoshop will interpolate the stretched pixels so they appear high quality (and won't appear as "stretched" in most cases). However, be aware, this technique only works when the background is primarily a solid color - it won't work well with busy or patterned backgrounds.

  • Thank you so much for your time and explanation, it is very helpful.
    – Monika
    Commented Nov 2, 2015 at 17:54

I've tried all the techniques listed here and they are all good for different kinds of images. For this image though, I would use the Content Aware algorithm. It couldn't be easier:

  1. Starting with the original image as the Background layer in Photoshop:

    Original Example Image

    You can use File > Open, Drag-and-Drop, or paste to bring the image into Photoshop. If for whatever reason it isn't the background layer, right click the layer in the Layers panel and choose Merge Down.

  1. Go to Image > Canvas Size... in the top menu. In the Canvas Size dialog that opens, enter the additional measurements you want and select OK.

    Change Canvas Size Dialog

    I chose to add 332px to bring it up to a nice 1500px.

  1. With the Rectangular Marquee Tool active (choose from the tools on the left or just press M) select the newly extended area - with a little bit of overlap with the proper background.

    Rectangular Marquee Tool Selection

  2. Press Delete and choose Content Aware in the Use: dropdown list of the Fill dialog that appears.

    Content Aware Fill

Et Voila! A fairly perfect and seamless background extension.

Example Image with Background Extended

A few tips:

  • When trying to extend say, more than 50% of the image width I find it better to do it in a few stages.
  • Some images cannot be extended. A little bit of trial and error with different images will help you understand what can be extended and what can't.
  • I'm fairly certain that the Content Aware algorithm is much better in Creative Cloud versions than it was in previous ones (CS5, CS6).
  • For any imperfections, the Spot Healing Brush Tool works wonders.

P.S. This is Photoshop CC, I just changed the theme for nostalgia.


I always try to keep the things simple So here is the simplest solution for doing this

as you have already reached a stage where you just want to fill the white GAP so that, they merge together without a seam, You can use patch tool for it.

make a selection with Rectangle marquee tool around the Gap then select the patch tool and drag it to its side portion. Photoshop will atomically calculate the pixel interpolation and gives you a much finer result that any other method can't. Here is the Example enter image description here

  1. Use the magic wand or lasso to select as much of the background as possible without losing her hair.

(I used point sample, 8 tolerance, anti-alias, contiguous for the magic wand)

  1. Select > inverse

  2. Select > refine edge

Click the paintbrush and paint over the edge of her hair until you get a nice edge, it will remove the background while keeping her hair. Play around with brush size and the other setting until it looks good

  1. Copy the resulting selection to a new layer

  2. Make the background any color you like

This method works best with a high quality original image. Good luck!

  • Hey rangi, while this is great advice for extracting a subject and adding a new background, OP is asking on how to extend an existing background.
    – Hanna
    Commented Nov 4, 2015 at 2:15
  • I don't think they are mutually exclusive, but sure. :-)
    – rangi
    Commented Nov 4, 2015 at 2:26
  • And that may be, depends on if they want to preserve the original background or not. I didn't vote you down, but I figured I might provide a comment as to why I think you may have been voted down.
    – Hanna
    Commented Nov 4, 2015 at 2:34

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