How to Open Multiple Images in One Document in Photoshop

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Photoshop isn’t just a photography app; it’s a powerful design tool. Opening a single image is easy, but what happens if you want to put together a poster with multiple different images?

Let’s look at a few of the ways you can open more than one image in a single document.

With a Document Already Open

If you already have a document open, the process is simple.

1docopen

Go to File > Place Embedded…

2filemenu

Then use the file browser to navigate to the image you want to add to the document.

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Click Place and the image will be added to the document.

4placed

When you Place an image, the Transform Tool is automatically activated. Click and drag the image to reposition it.

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Use the Transform Handles to adjust the size.

6transforming

When you’re happy with how the image is positioned, press Enter or Return. Now it’s just another layer.

7layer

Without a Document Open

If you don’t have a Photoshop document open, or want to load multiple images into a new document, this is the method to use.

Go to File > Scripts > Load Files Into Stack…

8intostack

In the Load Layers dialogue, Click Browse.

9loadlayers

Navigate to the first image you want to add and click Open.

10browsing

That’s the first image added to the stack.

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Click Browse again and navigate to the second image you want to add. Click Open.

Note, the file browser works like your regular OS one. You can select multiple images by Control or Shift clicking on a number of files (Command or Shift on a Mac).

When you’ve got all the images you want added to the stack, click OK.

12alladded

Photoshop will open all the selected files as a series of layers.

13addedinphotoshop

Moving an Image to Another Document

If you have two documents open and want to move an image from one to the other, go to Window > Arrange and select either 2-up Vertical or 2-up Horizontal.

14twoupmenu

I’ve gone with 2-up Vertical.

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Whichever document you clicked on most recently will be the active document. All Photoshop’s tools and interface will relate to that one.

Select the image you want to move and grab the Move Tool (the keyboard shortcut is V).

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Click anywhere on the image you want to move and drag the cursor over to the other document. Release the cursor and the image will be added as a new layer.

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Go to Window > Arrange > Consolidate All to Tabs to return to viewing one document at a time.

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Continue on with your project.


Adobe obviously loves the old proverb, “there is more than one way to skin a cat”. In Photoshop, there are very few things that can only be done in one way. Now you know three ways to combine multiple images into one document.

Harry Guinness writes occasionally when he’s not busy skiing, sailing, partying, lifting weights, or otherwise dodging responsibility. His main areas of interest are himself, gin, and crazy people with interesting stories to tell. When people won’t pay him to write ill-thought-out opinion pieces, he covers photography, technology, and culture. You can follow him on Twitter.