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The Step and Repeat feature in Adobe Photoshop is a powerful tool that enables you to transform and replicate objects with precision and efficiency.

This versatile technique allows you to create repeated patterns, shapes, and designs, making it an essential tool for graphic designers and artists.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll walk you through the process of using the Step and Repeat feature to create stunning visuals. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced user, this tutorial will help you unlock the full potential of this feature.

Creating a New Canvas and Basic Shapes

Before diving into the intricacies of the Step and Repeat feature, let’s start by setting up our workspace and creating some basic shapes.

1. Setting Up the Canvas:
– Open Adobe Photoshop and create a new document.
– Choose the dimensions of 1200 pixels by 1200 pixels with a resolution of 300 pixels per inch.
– Select the RGB color mode and set the background content to white.

2. Creating a Rectangle:
– Access the Rectangle Tool and draw a rectangle on the canvas.
– Hold the Shift key while drawing to ensure a perfect square.

Recording the Transformation

The Step and Repeat feature involves two main steps: recording the initial transformation and then repeating it.

1. Recording the Transformation:
– Select the object you want to transform (in this case, the rectangle).
– Use the Move Tool (shortcut: V) to select the object and press Option + Command + T (Mac) or Alt + Ctrl + T (PC) to initiate the transformation.
– The transformation controls will appear, allowing you to make adjustments such as scaling, rotating, and moving the object.

2. Creating Repeats:
– Accept the transformation changes by pressing Enter or clicking the checkmark icon.
– To repeat the transformation, press Shift + Option + Command + T (Mac) or Shift + Alt + Ctrl + T (PC).
– Hold down the Shift, Option (Alt), and Command (Ctrl) keys and press \”T\” repeatedly to create evenly spaced repeats.

Transforming Around a Circle

Now, let’s explore how to use Step and Repeat to create a circular pattern.

1. Creating a Circle:
– Turn off the visibility of the rectangle layer.
– Access the Ellipse Tool and draw a circle while holding the Shift key.

2. Rotating Around the Circle:
– Use the Move Tool to position the circle at the center of the canvas.
– Initiate the transformation by pressing Option + Command + T (Mac) or Alt + Ctrl + T (PC).
– Rotate the circle by dragging the rotation handle and entering the desired angle (e.g., 60 degrees).
– Press Enter to apply the transformation, and then repeat the process using the Step and Repeat shortcut.

Combining Rotation and Scaling

Step and Repeat can also be used to create intricate designs by combining rotation and scaling.

1. Creating a Spiraling Effect:
– Draw a new circle and position it using the Move Tool.
– Initiate the transformation and rotate the circle, as explained in the previous step.
– This time, also scale down the circle by maintaining the aspect ratio (click the chain icon) and entering the desired scale value (e.g., 90%).
– Repeat the transformation using the Step and Repeat shortcut to create a mesmerizing spiral pattern.

Using Pixels vs. Shapes

Understanding the distinction between pixel layers and shape layers is crucial when using Step and Repeat.

1. Using Pixel Layers:
– Create a new circle using the Elliptical Marquee Tool and fill it with black.
– Use the Move Tool to position the circle and initiate the transformation.
– Scale and transform the circle as desired, then use Step and Repeat to create separate layers for each repeat.

2. Using Shape Layers:
– Draw shapes using shape tools (e.g., Rectangle Tool, Ellipse Tool) to create a design.
– Transform the shape and use Step and Repeat to generate repeated patterns on the same layer.


In this tutorial, we’ve delved into the intricacies of the Step and Repeat feature in Adobe Photoshop. You’ve learned how to create repeated patterns using basic shapes, rotate objects around a circle, and combine rotation with scaling for captivating designs. Additionally, we’ve highlighted the distinction between using pixel layers and shape layers when applying Step and Repeat.

By mastering this powerful feature, you can unlock a world of creative possibilities, enabling you to produce visually stunning and intricate designs effortlessly. Whether you’re designing logos, patterns, or artistic compositions, the Step and Repeat feature will undoubtedly become an indispensable tool in your Photoshop toolkit.

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