I have 3 layers in a Photoshop file:

  • Background

  • Content

  • Frame - this layer contains a 100px x 50px frame. I need a border around them (150px x 100px) that removes content layer in this area. I tried selecting the area around the frame and cutting the layer and this worked but it's not acceptable. I want to add aprox. 30 frames in the picture, and I don't know the exact position of the frames now.

Effect I want, created by cutting content layer

Effect which I want, created by cutting content layer

Effect I don't want, after moving the frame layer

Effect which I dont want, after moving the frame layer

3 Answers 3


Do not remove, add instead. Place a rectangular piece of the brown background to a new layer between a frame and and the tree. Merge the frame and the added piece layers. Then you can make copies of the combined parts by duplicating layers.

30 frames - I bet they contain photos and text + the added piece of background to cover the tree. This kind of assemblies make anyone tired very soon in Photoshop. Goto Illustrator or Inkscape. There it's much easier to make groups which do not easily diverge and still are easy to edit and move.

You can even scale and crop the photos there, too altough Photoshop would be a better place for this job due the greater adjustment possiblities. From Photoshop you simply copy and paste the ready to use photos to Illustrator or Inkscape.


There are many ways of doing this, pick the approach that best suit the workflow you want:

  • Position your yellow frames first and then cut the correspondent parts on the tree layer. Disadvantage: once you cut the tree you can't undo it - Keep an intact copy of that layer if you need to change something.

  • Add a Vector Layer Mask to the tree and add as many rectangles as you want to cut (with the vector object, Choose Subtract Front Shape in the Path Operations options). Advantage: you can move them around as much as you want, add or remove as you need. Disadvantage: you have to move them separately from the frames (each yellow frame is a separate layer, and the holes are all in the vector layer mask)

  • Make a Smart Object containing the yellow frame and a rectangle with the same color as the background. Advantage: move them freely, you can edit once to affect all copies, less layers to work with. Disadvantage: I see that your background is not a solid color, so it might not match 100% when you move these frames around. Suggestion: make the background a solid color and add a separate layer with just the dirt/dark spots over the whole thing.


Make your selection on content Layer.

Press Ctrl J, This will make a copy, put this new layer under the frame Layer.

Select the frame Layer and press Ctrl E, this will join these two layers.

  • This not work.... Commented Aug 25, 2017 at 9:21

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