How to Add Custom Patterns and Save Them as a Set in Photoshop

Photoshop Preset Manager
S. Chastain

Photoshop 6 and later (the current version is Photoshop CC) ships with several sets of patterns that work with the fill tool and layer styles. But did you know you can add your own patterns and save them as a custom set?

How to Add Custom Patterns and Save Them as a Set in Photoshop

Follow these steps to create patterns from your own images and save them as a set. Steps 10-15 can also be used to save custom sets of brushes, gradients, styles, shapes, etc.

  1. It's a good idea to start out with only the default patterns loaded. To do this, switch to the paint bucket tool (G).

  2. Set the options bar to fill with a pattern, click the arrow next to the pattern preview, click the arrow on the pattern palette, and choose Reset Patterns from the menu.

  3. Your pattern palette will have the 14 default patterns in it. if you want to see more patterns, click the Gear icon in the panel and a list of the patterns you can use will appear.

  4. To add your own, open the pattern you want to add and select all (Ctrl-A) or make a selection from an image with the rectangular marquee tool.

  5. Choose Edit > Define Pattern

  6. Now check the pattern palette and you will see your custom pattern at the end of the list.

  7. Repeat steps 4-6 for all the patterns you wish to add.

  8. In order to keep the custom patterns for future use, you need to save them as a set. If you don't, you will lose them the next time you load a different pattern set or reset your preferences.

  9. Go to Edit > Preset Manager

  10. Pull the menu down to Patterns and resize the preset manager window if you need to.

  11. Select the patterns you want to include in the set by Shift-clicking on them (a thick line will surround the selected patterns).

  12. When you have everything you want selected, click the "Save Set" button and give it a name you will remember. It should be saved to the Photoshop\Presets\Patterns folder.

  13. If saved in the proper folder, your new pattern set will be available from the pattern palette menu.

  14. If it's not listed on the menu, you can load it using the load, append, or replace command on the pattern palette menu. (Some OSes limit the number of entries you can have in the menu.)

Use Adobe Capture CC To Create Photoshop Patterns

If you have an iOS or Android smartphone or tablet, Adobe has a mobile app that lets you create patterns. Adobe Capture CC is actually five apps bundled into one app. The feature of Capture, we will be concentrating upon is the Pattern feature. The neat thing about Capture is the content you create, such as patterns, can be saved to your Creative Cloud library and then used in the Adobe desktop applications such as Photoshop. Here's how:

  1. Open Adobe Capture CC on your device and, when it opens, tap Patterns.

  2. Tap the + sign to create a new pattern. There are a couple of ways of doing it. you can use your camera to photograph something or open an existing photo from your camera roll.

  3. When the Photo opens it will appear in a box, you can use a Pinch gesture to zoom in or out of the image.

  4. On the left side of the screen are five icons that create different looks using a geometric grid. Again you can use a Pinch gesture to change the look.

  5. When satisfied, tap the purple Capture button. This will open the Edit Pattern screen.

  6. In this screen, you can rotate the pattern using the dial on the left, Pinch the image - not the pattern- to change the look and you can also Pinch the pattern to zoom in on it and make further refinements.

  7. When satisfied, tap the Next button to see a Preview of your Pattern.

  8. Tap the Next button. This will open a screen asking you to name the pattern and where, in your Creative Cloud account, to save the pattern. Tap the Save Pattern button at the bottom of the screen to save the pattern.

  9. In Photoshop, open your Creative Cloud library and locate your pattern.

  10. Draw a shape and fill the shape with the pattern.


  • Save all your favorite patterns into a single set, and you will have your most commonly used fills all in one place.
  • Alt-click on a pattern in the preset manager to remove it from the palette. It won't be removed from the saved pattern set unless you save the set again.
  • Large pattern sets can take a long time to load. Group patterns in smaller sets of similar patterns to reduce load time and make it easier to find what you need.
  • The procedure is the same for saving custom sets of brushes, swatches, gradients, styles, contours, and shapes. These custom sets can be shared among other Photoshop users.
  • Make a backup copy of your custom presets on removable media so you'll never lose them.
  • To add a Capture CC pattern to your collection, right click on the Pattern in your Creative Cloud Library and click Create Pattern Preset.