In Photoshop the shortcut CTRL + J can be used to duplicate a layer or multiple layers within a document. Is there a similar shortcut to duplicate a layer to a new document?

I am aware that one can do this using the duplicate dialogue box (right-click and choose 'duplicate...'), yet this is too much of a hassle if one wants to do this for many separate layers. I can't seem to find a shortcut for this.

2 Answers 2


There is no built-in shortcut to do this that I know of. However, it's pretty easy to define an action and assign a custom shortcut to that.

  • Open the Actions panel (Window > Actions or Alt + F9)
  • Click 'Create new Action'
  • Name it, assign it to a set (or leave it in Default), assign a Function key
  • Go to your layers panel, right-click the layer(s) you want to duplicate, select 'Duplicate...' and then choose 'New' under Document
  • Click 'OK'
  • Go back to the Actions panel and click 'Stop recording'

You now have an action assigned to duplicating layers to a new doc with a shortcut. In the future, all you need to do is select the layers you want to dupe and hit the assigned Function key.

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You actually don't have to duplicate layers duplicate them in a new document. A handy trick is that you can select whatever layers you want and drag them into the new document.

  • But then you first have to create a new document. Which you don't have to do with the Duplicate command.
    – PieBie
    Commented Jul 19, 2017 at 15:33

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