How to use Step and Repeat in Photoshop

by hannah 2,207 views7

You would use the process of step and repeat in photoshop to duplicate items and evenly space them. Designers may be familiar with the process as it is included as a method to space items in other Adobe applications such as Illustrator and Indesign.

For this example I am going to step and repeat a swirl motif that could later be used as a border for example.

Step 1.

To start off with, open a new document and have the item you wish to step and repeat on a seperate layer from the background. It this case a swirl. I am using a vector shape, but you can also follow this process with a raster image or even type if you wish.

Step and repeat initial image
Step and repeat initial image
object layer and background
object layer and background

Step 2.

First you need to duplicate the image. Make sure the layer with the object is selected and hold down the alt or option key as you press the Ctrl & T keys or Option Apple T on a mac. By including the Alt/Option in the transform it means that the next step will make the changes to a copy of your initial object not the original.

transform tools
transform tools

Step 3.

You should still have only the background and the object layer in the layers palette, but with the transform controls surrounding the object.Click on the object inside the transform controls and drag to where you would like the first duplicate to be positioned. (To keep it perfectly inline either horizontally or vertically hold the Shift key as you are moving the duplicate). Press return key when your happy with the posistion of the duplicate.

drag object to new posistion
drag object to new posistion

Step 4.

To repeat this process of both duplicating and moving the image all you have to do is press Shift Alt Ctrl T / Shift Option Apple T. Continue to press this combination of keys to continue to step and repeat the object.

repeated image
repeated image

Step 5.

The same process can also be used to make complex patterns. Upon making the first duplicate and moving the duplicate to a new position try scaling down the image and rotating it before you then duplicate the layer and repeat. All of the examples below have all been made with the original shape used above.

Step and repeat pattern
Step and repeat pattern
Step and repeat pattern
Step and repeat pattern
Step and repeat pattern
Step and repeat pattern

Comments (7)

  1. Hi.
    Thanks for the step and repeat tutorial. Ive just been looking around for this tutorial but the ones ive come across havent been explained to well. After following your tutorial i have now got the hang of it and can continue making long tasks very simple. Thanks very much for the tutorial, it has help greatly!

    Thanks

  2. Yes it does help to speed things up somewhat once you get the hang of it, I’m glad you found it helpful 🙂

  3. it’s superb trick for creating different designs and pattern. Thanks

  4. Once haveing created my pattern with the excellently simple instructions above, i simply selected all the pattern layers in the layers window. right clicked (PC) and selected merge layers, one layer, for all the copies. great stuff, thanks very much.

  5. Glad you found the tutorial useful. And yes, that’s good tip to merge all layers at the end if you are using raster images.

  6. yaa really this is so much helpful for me. Today i knew how to repeat the copies in different position. Thank u so much.

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