Sahlin Studio | Digital Scrapbooking Designs

Photoshop Shortcut – Using Ctrl + J (to Duplicate)

There are so many keyboard shortcuts to Photoshop’s program, that it would take me an eternity to memorize them all. But shortcuts are obviously real time savers, and it is helpful to get a few lodged in the memory banks.

Tutorial | Photoshop Shortcut – Using Ctrl + J to COPY


Today I wanted to highlight a shortcut that is one of my favorites –>

Ctrl + J for PC (or Command + J for MAC)

What Does It Do? This is a Photoshop shortcut will DUPLICATE a selected layer.

By hitting Ctrl + J on your keyboard, you will be duplicating whatever it is you have selected. This comes in handy when you are scrapbooking and you want a duplicate of a flower, make a copy of a photo or even make a copy of a section of paper. This shortcut will save you so much time in the long run, and I guarantee you will be using it on a regular basis. First, 1) I will show you how to duplicate a layer and second, 2) I will show you how to duplicate just a selection of a layer.


1) Basic COPY or DUPLICATE of a Layer

This works perfect for duplicating an entire element, flower, a photo and so many more things.

Step One – Duplicating a Layer:

1. Select the layer you want to duplicate in your layer’s palette

2. Hit Ctrl + J on your keyboard

3. With your move tool, and new layer selected, move your layer to its new location

Here is another example of using the COPY (Control + J) Shortcut to duplicate flowers.

copy example



2) Copy or Duplicate a SECTION of a Layer

If you don’t want to duplicate an entire layer, but only a portion, Ctrl + J will do that for you as well. This works great for copying a section of a photo or paper, or if you want just a section of an element.

Duplicate a Section of a Layer using the Marquee Tool

1. Select your marquee tool (You aren’t limited to just the rectangular marquee. You can use the elliptical marquee AND/OR the lasso tool as well to make a selection. That is especially helpful because not all elements are perfectly square.)

2. Make a selection of one of your layers

3. Hit Ctrl + J on your keyboard

4. With your move tool and new layer selected, move your layer to its new location

Here is the final image to show how a section of the photo was copied.

final image ctrl J

There are a variety of ways in which you can use this great shortcut! Feel free to give it a try!