I am using Photoshop CS3 and I have been given a quite big PSD with a lot of elements in it. I want to select one of these groups in the layer pane and copy it to a new document, and this document needs to be the exact size of the group.

I have tried duplicating the group into a new document, but this results in a document with the same size as the original one.

I tried following this link How do you create a new document from a layer group that's also the size of the group? But I just can't control-c the layers I have selected?

My group is composed of text layer and one square layer with some effects in it (its a button).

Many thanks, felipe

3 Answers 3


Duplicate the group to a new document.

Then choose Image > Trim...

Tick the Transparent Pixels option and click OK.

The new document will be trimmed to remove all superflous areas.

  1. Hide all layers that you do not want to copy (the "eye" icon on the layers pane)
  2. Ctrl A > Shift+Ctrl C > Ctrl N > Enter (or Apple/Command if Mac)
  3. Go back to original document right click your group on the layers pane and duplicate it to the already existing document
  • For some reason I was getting an error when trying to Control C. And then I Shift+Control+C (copy merged) and it worked! Many thanks, Ryan Commented Jul 18, 2012 at 2:09
  • oh woops ya I should've said Shift+Ctrl+C because its on multiple layers.
    – Ryan
    Commented Jul 18, 2012 at 2:47

One other method I've used: Convert the group into a smart object. When you edit the smart object, it pops up in a new doc at the exact size of the group and you can save it out under a new file name. This is the fastest way I've found for pulling out bits and pieces of a PSD.

I'm sure you could script it or record an action if you have to do a lot of this.

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