Removing Objects From Pictures With Photoshop Elements

How to remove part of an image in Photoshop Elements without cropping

Large hand erasing people in queue

Gary Waters/ Getty Images 

There are several ways to remove objects from photos using Photoshop Elements. For example, you can use the Clone tool, the Eyedropper, or the Spot Healing Brush to get rid of distractions in the foreground and background of your image.

Instructions in this article refer to Photoshop Elements 2019 for Windows and Mac, but the same steps apply to older versions.

How to Remove Objects With the Clone Tool

The clone tool lets you copy a section of your image and paste it onto another area. In the example below, the clone tool is used to remove barbed wire from the foreground of the image:

A horse peers over a barbed wire fence.
  1. Open your image in Photoshop Elements and select the Expert tab at the top.

    Open your image in Photoshop Elements and select the Expert tab at the top.
  2. Select the Clone Stamp tool. In the Tool Options panel, select a brush with fuzzy edges (to help with blending) and adjust the brush size.

    Select the Clone Stamp tool, then select a brush in the Tool Options panel.
  3. Hold down the Alt key (for Windows) or the Options key (for Mac) and click on a section of the image just above the barbed wire to copy the area, then click on the barbed wire to cover it up.

    To zoom in, use the keyboard shortcut Ctrl + plus sign (for Windows) or Command + plus sign (for Mac).

    Alt-click on a section of the image just above the barbed wire to copy the area, then click on the barbed wire to cover it up.
  4. Repeat the previous step across the image to remove the barbed wire.

    To ensure a good blend, use small strokes and reselect sample areas as needed to avoid sharp lines.

    Repeat the previous step across the image to remove the barbed wire.
  5. Use the same technique to remove the barbed wire's shadow.

    Use the same technique to remove the barbed wire's shadow.

If you're left with obvious lines or splotches where you performed your editing, use the Spot Healing Brush to smooth out the area.

A horse sticks his tongue out in a field.

How to Remove Objects With the Healing Brush

The Spot Healing Brush tool has a content-aware setting, which samples the surrounding area and does the work of matching the selected areas. This tool is best suited for areas surrounded by a lot of similar colors and shapes. To use the spot healing brush to remove objects:

  1. Select the Spot Healing Brush tool, then select Content Aware in the Tool Options panel.

    Select the Spot Healing Brush tool, then select Content Aware in the Tool Options panel.
  2. Click and drag across part of the barbed wire. The selected area will appear gray.

    Click and drag across part of the barbed wire.
  3. Release the mouse button to make the barbed wire disappear. Repeat this process to remove the rest of the wire and its shadow. Work in small sections for best results.

If the effect doesn't look how you want it, press Control + Z ( or Command + Z on Mac) to undo the previous action and try again.

Release the mouse button to make the barbed wire disappear.

How to Remove Objects With the Eyedropper

You can use the Eyedropper tool in combination with the Brush tool to paint a solid color over an object you want to remove. This method works best with small objects in front of a solid color:

  1. Select the Eyedropper tool and click on the color you wish to paint with (somewhere very close to the object you will be removing).

    Select the Eyedropper tool and click on the color you wish to paint with.
  2. Select the Brush tool and paint over the object.

You can adjust the brush size, shape, and opacity in the Tool Options panel.

Select the Brush tool and paint over the object.