How to Create and Use Placeholders for Images in Photoshop CC 2019

How to Create Placeholders for Images in Photoshop CC 2019

Photoshop CC 2019 or version 20 has many new features and improvements. One of the new features is the ability to create placeholders for images. One of the ways to create placeholder is brand new Frame Tool which is an excellent tool for beginners.

Frame Tool can create rectangular or elliptical placeholders for images. Also, any Shape or Type layer can be easily converted to the placeholder.

Placeholders are areas where you can drag or place inside image which will be automatically clipped or masked without any additional effort. All images that are placed into placeholders will be converted to Smart Object layers which will bring additional advantages and non-destructive editing.

Video tutorial on how to create and use placeholders for images

Here is my video recording which will explain to you a couple of ways to create placeholders in Photoshop CC 2019. If you have any doubt or additional question, do not hesitate to leave comments.


Hi guys, in this tip I will explain to you how to create placeholder frames in Photoshop CC 2019. There are a couple of ways to create a placeholder frame.

Let's start with the Frame tool.

Frame Tool is available from the Toolbox or using keyboard shortcut letter K.

In the Options bar, you can choose to use the rectangular or elliptical frame.

Click and drag on canvas to create a placeholder. After dragging you can hold down Spacebar on your keyboard to be able to move and reposition placeholder.

On canvas, you will see a visual preview of placeholder while in the Layers panel you can see special kind of vector-based layer created.

Placeholders can be duplicated. One of the ways is to use keyboard shortcut Ctrl/Cmd + J. Another way is to hold down Alt/Opt and to drag with the Move or Frame Tool active.

There are a couple of options to place the image into placeholder:

  • Drag and drop an image onto placeholder from the Libraries panel.  Content placed in frames is always placed as Smart Objects with advantage that you can scale it non-destructively.
  • Select frame then use Place Embedded or Place Linked commands. 
  • With frame selected in the Layers panel use Insert Image drop-down list from the Properties panel. 

To replace placed image drag another image from Libraries panel or use Replace Contents command to replace placed image.

To scale frame, you need to select it by clicking on it using Move or Frame tools. When the frame is selected you will see handles and black border. Use handles to scale frame.

To activate image for transformation double click on the image and tiny black line should appear as an indicator that image is selected. Another indicator is tiny white border around image/object in the Layers panel. Drag to reposition image or press Ctrl/Cmd + T to transform it.

Any shape or type layer with text can be converted to Placeholder for the image. Right click on type/shape layer and choose: Convert to Frame. The exact same command is available from Layer > New and Layers panel menu.

The process to place image in the frame is the same, as already explained.

The last option is to drag with Frame tool active over image what will create placeholder and place image into it automatically. If you have only Background layer in your document then convert it to normal.

If you want to remove the frame from layer then use either right click > Remove Frame from Layer or keyboard shortcut: Ctrl/Cmd + Shift + G.

So thanks for watching and cheers. If you like my videos please share them with your friends and subscribe to my channel.

Product used in this tutorial:
Adobe Photoshop CC 2019 (20.0.0 Release)

Place images into frames


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