Really dumb question - how can I copy an image from a folder and paste it into Photoshop?

Explorer ,
Oct 13, 2021 Oct 13, 2021

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This should be the easiest thing in the world - CTRL+C to copy the graphic. Switch to PS. Click on desired layer. CTRL+V to paste. Nope. Edit>Paste is greyed out.

 

I know I can drag & drop. I want to know why simple Copy/Paste doesn't work.

 

Anyone?

 

Thanks!

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Cross-app workflows , Windows

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correct answers 1 Correct answer

Adobe Employee , Oct 13, 2021 Oct 13, 2021

I think this is a limitation on Windows. It works on macOS to select a file in the Finder, choose Copy and the composite with Paste in Photoshop. The same thing doesn't work on Windows. I also tried pasting in Paint so seems like a general limitation on that platform.

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Community Expert ,
Oct 13, 2021 Oct 13, 2021

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The issue is, the clipboard may be too small to copy it all into memory and past once inside Photoshop. Or you didn't get anything copied in the first place; can you paste the copy elsewhere than PS? 

What kind of data and size is what you are trying to copy (from where)? 

 

Author “Color Management for Photographers" & "Photoshop CC Color Management/pluralsight"

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Explorer ,
Oct 13, 2021 Oct 13, 2021

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It was just a little .png file. 560 KB. Had no trouble pasting in Word or PowerPoint. I tried several different files, both .png and .jpg   As I said, I typically just drag and drop my assets but it's bugging me why I can't do this. I can copy/paste between open docs within PS, just not from a file folder to an open doc in PS. So weird!

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Adobe Employee ,
Oct 13, 2021 Oct 13, 2021

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I think this is a limitation on Windows. It works on macOS to select a file in the Finder, choose Copy and the composite with Paste in Photoshop. The same thing doesn't work on Windows. I also tried pasting in Paint so seems like a general limitation on that platform.


Senior Product Manager - Customer Advocacy - Digital Imaging

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Explorer ,
Oct 13, 2021 Oct 13, 2021

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Wow. OK. So it isn't just me, then. Thought I was going a little nuts! I'm a long-time Office and Photoshop user and have never even tried a copy/paste as described above. I was following a tutorial and decided to try the author's copy/paste method and it didn't work. Author was on a Mac, so that very well could explain it. None of my Google searches turned up any answers - they all directed me to copy/paste within PS.

Thanks for the response!

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LEGEND ,
Oct 13, 2021 Oct 13, 2021

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As far as I know you can only paste images that in the clipboard into Photoshop documents as a layer and Text  in the Clipboard  into  text area in tool like the text toll text imput area.    Photoshop is not a file editor and not all file  are image files,  Photoshop documents do not normally have image files in then. The exception are Photoshop documents that have placed embedded images.  There a copy of the file in the embedded object.  If there is a file in the clipboard you will not see paste as an available option.

JJMack

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Community Expert ,
Oct 13, 2021 Oct 13, 2021

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Did you have an active selection when you used Ctrl C to copy?   I don't think I have ever encountered a limit to Windows clipboard size, but to copy to clipboard an object must be selected (Ctrl click it's layer thumbnail or Ctrl A to copy all)

 

If you are copying the graphic from outside Photoshop then I have sometimes found this to have the odd glitch.  Almost as if the clipboard has a queue.  If you use Ctrl N in Photoshop to create a new document the size of the clipboard, it might reference the previous content the first time you use Ctrl n, but the second time it works as you'd expect.  But IME if it is a valide image document and in the clipboard, it will always paste into Photoshop.

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Explorer ,
Oct 13, 2021 Oct 13, 2021

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I've even cleared out the clipboard in Windows, to no avail. From an answer upthread, it looks as though it's a Windows glitch. I'll continue to drag and drop, which works fine; I was just annoyed that such a simple operation wouldn't work.

 

Thanks for taking the time to reply!

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LEGEND ,
Oct 13, 2021 Oct 13, 2021

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You can use copy/paste files in  windows file explorer to copy files windows file explored works with file. You can not paste a file into a photoshop document from windows file explorer. You can drag an image file from File Explorer and drop it into an open  Photoshop document in Photoshop and Photoshop will place the file in as a smart object layer there is a copy of the file in the smart object layer's object.  Jeffrey wrote on a Mac you can use Copy in Finder and paste a composite into Photoshop.  A composite is not a file and not all files have a composite  all files are not image files. A composite is an image.  Perhaps Finders Copy copies the file and the file composite image the Apple clipboard. Photoshop does support pasting in image layers from the clipboard. At least on windows you can get the file into Photoshop from the file explorer and it may even be a vector smart object that will scaled well,  Where a Paste in composite layer on a mac will  degrade. I would think that Drag and Drop from Finder would also place in the file as a smart object layer. 

JJMack

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Community Beginner ,
Aug 06, 2022 Aug 06, 2022

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It just worked for me after enlarging the canvas a lot....

Try it like this ^ 

Press C to display the crop handles in the corners of the canvas , then resize it way bigger and the pasted content should appear after pressing CTRL+V.

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