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How to Put Two Pictures Side by Side in Photoshop

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Read Time: 6 min

Want to learn how to put two pictures side by side in Photoshop? In this quick tutorial, we'll jump into Photoshop, put two images side by side, and save them as one image. We'll also walk through how to open two images side by side in Photoshop so that you can view both at once before putting them together.

Photoshop two images side by sidePhotoshop two images side by sidePhotoshop two images side by side

What You'll Learn in This Tutorial

  • How to open two images side by side in Photoshop
  • How to put two pictures side by side in Photoshop

What You'll Need

We'll use these two images from Envato Elements in this walkthrough. However, you could use any two images of your choice. The concepts will work the same, regardless of which images you choose.

How to Put Images Side by Side in Photoshop

Step 1

First, let's begin with a walkthrough of how to open two images side by side in Photoshop. There are so many reasons why you might want to do this. Lots of creative projects require more than one image. You may want to, for example, just view multiple images at one time within the software.

To open an image in Photoshop, go to File > Open. Repeat this twice: once for each image that you would like to open. For this walkthrough, make sure you've opened two images of your choice.

Your work area likely looks like this, with two image documents open. Note the two tabs at the top. There's one tab for each image, and you can click to toggle between them.

photoshop images openphotoshop images openphotoshop images open

Step 2

If you look at the Window menu, at the very bottom, you can see a list of every document you currently have open. Each item you have open will typically have its own tab in your workspace too. You can toggle between each tag to jump from one document to the other.

Clicking and dragging on these tabs will undock the document. This allows you to resize each document window individually. This is how to open two images side by side in Photoshop. 

photoshop undocked imagesphotoshop undocked imagesphotoshop undocked images

Step 3

Next, let's explore how to put images side by side in Photoshop, in one document. 

Let's begin by creating a New Document. Go to File > New to do so. For this demonstration, let's work with an image that is 8 inches tall by 10 inches wide. You can work at any image size that you prefer. Click on Create to finish creating your document.

Here's what our new document looks like. It's just a white background with no other content yet.

Photoshop new documentPhotoshop new documentPhotoshop new document

Step 4

Next, open up your Layers panel. You can do so by going to Window > Layers.

Here's an example of what your Layers panel should look like in your new document. Again, all we have is a white background layer.

Photoshop LayersPhotoshop LayersPhotoshop Layers

Step 5

Now, let's go to one of our open image documents. Click on the document to make it active. You'll notice that your Layers panel will change to reflect the active document. So, for example, you'll see an image and not a white background.

Go to Select > All to select the entire image document. You'll see a dashed marquee around the image, and this is your visual cue that it has been selected.

Then, with the image selected,  go to Edit > Copy.

Photoshop select allPhotoshop select allPhotoshop select all

Step 6

Return to our new document. Then, go to Edit > Paste. This pastes our image into the new document. 

Refer to the Layers panel. You'll see our white background layer, and on top of it, we have a new layer with our image in it. 

Photoshop pastePhotoshop pastePhotoshop paste

Step 7

Repeat this process with the second image. Here's what the Layers panel looks like with two images pasted into the document. We can select each layer independently. When we do, we can use the Move Tool to click and drag to reposition the content on each layer.

Photoshop layersPhotoshop layersPhotoshop layers

Step 8

But what if your images need to be resized? For example, in this case, they're a little too big.

Go to Edit > Free Transform. Then, we can click and drag on the visible resize handles to resize our work. Adjust your images so they fit the canvas the way you prefer.

Photoshop Free TransformPhotoshop Free TransformPhotoshop Free Transform

Step 9

However, you'll likely want to crop these images so they fit the space better too. There are lots of ways you could do this, but I'll share one of my favorites with you: Clipping Masks. It's non-destructive (meaning you don't have to delete any of your imagery) and gives you a lot of flexibility for adjusting your work. 

Select the Rectangle Tool. Then, click and drag to draw a rectangle where you would like one of your images to be in your composition. You'll notice that Photoshop automatically creates a New Layer for this rectangle.

Photoshop Rectangle ToolPhotoshop Rectangle ToolPhotoshop Rectangle Tool

Step 10

Next, select one of your image layers, and drag it on top of the rectangle layer.

Right-click on PC or Control-click on Mac on the image layer. From the resulting menu, select Create Clipping Mask.

Now, the image is only visible within that rectangular space. You can move the image around, and it won't appear outside of this space. You can even resize the rectangle too!

Photoshop Clipping MasksPhotoshop Clipping MasksPhotoshop Clipping Masks

Step 11

Repeat Steps 8 and 9 for your second image. Note that you don't have to exclusively use the Rectangle Tool either—you could use any shape of your choice. 

If Photoshop automatically creates your new shape on the same layer as your first shape, create a new layer first. You can do this via the New Layer icon at the bottom of the Layers panel. With your new, empty layer selected, proceed to draw your shape.
Photoshop Clipping MasksPhotoshop Clipping MasksPhotoshop Clipping Masks

Curious about the possibilities here? Check out how this concept looks when we do it with abstract shapes. Pretty cool, right?

Photoshop ShapesPhotoshop ShapesPhotoshop Shapes

Step 12

Finally, make sure to save your work by going to File > Save

If you save your work as a PSD file, you'll be able to adjust your images and preserve your layers. If you save as a "flattened" image file, like a JPG or PNG, you will lose this layer functionality. However, JPG and PNG would be more appropriate for sharing online.

Your opened documents are still independent—so, for example, if you are viewing two image documents at the same time, they would still each need to be saved on their own. They are not "joined" together. 

Now You Know How to Put Images Side by Side in Photoshop!

There are lots of ways to work in Photoshop, put two images side by side, and create something awesome. Whether you're just viewing multiple documents at once or looking to put two images in one design, you have plenty of choices. Now that you know a couple of handy techniques, what will you create?

Photoshop two images side by sidePhotoshop two images side by sidePhotoshop two images side by side

Want to Learn More About Adobe Photoshop?

There's plenty more to learn about Adobe Photoshop on Envato Tuts+. Check out these free tutorials to take your Photoshop knowledge even further.

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