A Cool Trick For Photoshop’s Patch Tool

In Lightroom, Photography, Photoshop by Matt K39 Comments

Photoshop’s Patch tool is probably one of the more powerful tools we have for retouching and removing distractions in photos. It’s something that Lightroom (or Camera Raw) doesn’t have, and it really helps out when you’re trying to fix larger areas in your photos.

The problem we sometimes get with the Patch tool though, is that it leaves behind a little seam between the areas you’re fixing, and the rest of the photo around them. That’s where this tip comes in. There’s a very-little-talked-about setting for the Patch tool that helps blend those areas better and we’ll cover it in this quick 4-minute video.

Also, I’m putting the finishing touches on my brand new Photoshop System training video that’s coming up at the end of March. It’s not just a course on Photoshop. It’s a full system, created from the ground up, to learn Photoshop for a Lightroom (or Camera Raw) user. You can sign up to stay in touch about the release right here. You’ll get some free bonus videos as we get closer, as well as a huge discount during the launch week.



  1. Beth McNabb

    We can always learn something new. The patch tool is very useful and I really appreciate this tip!
    Thanks Matt!

    1. William Collins

      Great tip…I can always learn something new in Ps…thanks. William

  2. David Jones

    Com’on MATT no more teasing!! That was a great tip!! actually 2 tips . I did not know content aware would remove wire from both sides of post in one click. Would not have thought it would have left the post intack. thought you would need to make 2 separate

    1. Author
      Matt K

      Ha! Thanks! I have to tease since the whole course isn’t ready yet 🙂
      I promise… working as hard as I can. Just give me 2 more weeks!

  3. Karen Holberton

    I have been using the patch tool recently to clear shadows from walls in the background at a recent event shoot. I was having trouble with colors not matching after the patch was applied. I was unaware of the diffusion setting and glad to have another tool to use. What I did to blend the colors seemed to work okay. I picked the brush tool, selected the color with the color picker, reduced the opacity and then painted along the areas that did not match and the line disappeared. Had I know about the other option I would have tried that first. Thanks for the great tip.

  4. Burt

    Excellent! I have used that patch tool for a decade or more and never noticed that. (I thought I remembered there being a feather control at one time though — did this just replace feather?)

  5. Ellen

    Love these quick tips! Thanks Matt. Looking forward to your Photoshop System.

  6. Jerry Fenwick

    Matt, This is another good useful tip that will be helpful to me.. I wrote about a problem with working on images in Camera Raw. It appears the Camera Raw has not been updated with Photoshop and Lightroom. My problem withovelaying images and flashing was apparently caused by an updated Nvidia driver for my Getforce GTX 745 card. When the driver was rolled back to the previous version everything worked fine. I notice in the Cloud that both Photoshop and Lightroom have been regularly updated, but it has been some time since there was a Camera Raw. Is Adobe going to dump Camera Raw? Do you have an Adobe address that I can e-mail to see if something can be done about the incompatibility of the Nvidia drivers . Surely I can’t be the only one with a problem.

    1. Author
      Matt K

      Hi Jerry. I doubt Adobe is dumping Camera Raw. As for an address, unfortunately I don’t have one.

  7. Beverly Edgmon

    Always learning from you Matt! How do you keep all this info stored in your brain?? Very impressive!!

    1. Author
      Matt K

      Thanks Beverly – but maybe not so impressive. Ask Diana if I ever know where the car keys or my wallet are. Oh, and she probably has a few stories about when she’ll say “Honey… remember when I talked to you about doing (insert task here)”? And I look back with a blank stare. Somehow my Patch tool tips don’t seem to impress her during those moments 😉

  8. Martin Turner

    Great tips! BTW My tools selections in each of the tools buttons don’t show as many as yours do; how do I get more tools shown in each tool selection (based on the small triangle)?

  9. Sam Collins

    I rarely use the patch tool for just the problem you showed us. So, thanks very much.

  10. Mark Sweeney

    Excellent tip! I never even noticed the diffusion setting. Thanks, Matt.

  11. JC Ruiz

    Fantastic tip. To be honest, I never noticed the diffusion setting. I will be using it from now on. Thanks!

    1. Author
      Matt K

      Could be an older version of Photoshop. All of my tutorials are done with Photoshop CC. I don’t think the older versions had it. Thx.

  12. Lynn B

    Great video! It resolved an issue I ran into just this morning when I was using the patch tool!

  13. Henry Heerschap

    Great tip, Matt! One detail that tripped up several of us: The patch tool has to be set to Normal to see the Diffusion option. If it’s set to Content-Aware, you don’t get that option. In fact, all of the options are different using Content-Aware.

  14. Rachel Garafola

    Matt, I have your Photoshop Compositing book and want to learn this badly. The selection process in your book is using CS5- would you say this info is still valid or the same today, or has it changed much since then? Will you be covering this process in your upcoming course? I’m definitely someone who uses Lr most and Ps occasionally; Looking forward to learning more in Ps ( I have the current CC version for both).


    1. Author
      Matt K

      Hi Rachel – the selection process is pretty close. The Refine Edge dialog has changed a little and is now called Select and Mask. But most of the features work the same with only a few changes that I’ll cover in the course. Thanks!

  15. Tina Coombe

    I just downloaded your free presets and the mp4 is about one inch square. I have no idea what the link for a Mac is as there is nothing to see. Any help is appreciated.

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