To copy layers/groups of layer between open files in Photoshop, this is what I do: drag one open file tab so it become a small window, then I can drag drop my layer between the documents. I haven't been able to drag layers to tabs directly.

This is cumbersome. Is there a faster way?


2 Answers 2


Highlight ALL the layers you want to copy. In your Layers panel, right click the layer and choose "Duplicate Layer." There will be a dropdown to choose the destination file.

  • 1
    You can also just drag the layer into the destination files window if they are both open.
    – Paul Round
    Commented Oct 17, 2011 at 19:06
  • @PaulRound - If I understand the question correctly, I believe that Znarkus already knew about this technique, and was looking for a different way.
    – anon
    Commented Oct 17, 2011 at 19:53
  • 1
    Such a nice feature I never noticed all these years! Thank you!
    – Xonatron
    Commented Mar 4, 2016 at 17:34
  • The font size changed after I did this... Commented Apr 11, 2016 at 22:22

Simply select the layer in the source image, and drag it from the image viewport into the destination image viewport. If you are using CS5, you can drag to the destination images tab and hold for a moment to bring it to front (do not actually drop ON the tab), then drop the layer on the destination image. This will work with individual layers, layer selections, or groups.

  • I'm on CS5 Windows, and that does not work :-\
    – Znarkus
    Commented Oct 18, 2011 at 7:16
  • @Znarkus: I use CS5 on Windows almost every day. I drag and drop layers between open images all the time, and that works every time. You should check both the source and destination images to make sure you are not in some kind of modal operation...where you have to accept or cancel on the top toolbar. Usually, modal operations will block any other activity from occurring until they complete.
    – jrista
    Commented Oct 19, 2011 at 4:28

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