How to Make a Collage in Photoshop: 9 Simple Steps

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(Last updated on March 9th, 2023)

Making a photo collage is fun but takes time to compose. Maybe too much time. Thankfully, Photoshop has some handy techniques to make it easier so you’re not pulling your hair out over collages. I’ll show you how to make a collage in Photoshop with a step-by-step process that can make these projects simple and fun.

duck collage
Make collages in Photoshop as well as this collection of duck photos. Pixabay

Step 1: Finding the Right Photos

The first step of assembling a sound photo collage is ensuring you have the right photos for the project. The last thing you want is a collage with a photo that doesn’t look like it fits the rest.

Adobe Bridge japan photos
Bridge can easily organize these photos of Japan before they’re brought into Photoshop.
Mark McPherson

Open Adobe Bridge as an easy way of sorting through which photos you want. Adobe Bridge will sort through your files and present them in an readable gallery view. This app can also make quick edits by opening up the Camera RAW filter in this program.

Step 2: Getting the Images in Photoshop

Bring your photos into Photoshop as separate tabs when you’ve selected them. This can be accomplished by opening Photoshop and then selecting File > Open. From the open window, select all the images you want for your collage.

Photoshop japan photo tabs
These photos are now all brought into Photoshop on individual tabs. Mark McPherson

After clicking OK, multiple tabs should be created in Photoshop, with each one given the name attached to the photo. The photos have been brought in this way, so I have them on hand for making the collage. At this point, you can also work on removing any blur from your photos.

Step 3: Making the Collage File

I’ll now make a new document where these photos will be placed.

You can do it too by navigating to File > New to open the new document window. In the new document window, write in the dimension size for the collage.

If you want to retain the size and resolution of your photos, you’ll want to choose a large size.

Photoshop new document for collage
Here is the window where I’ll set the dimensions for the collage canvas. Mark McPherson

In this example, I’ll make a collage that is 2000 x 2000. This collage would be ideal for posting on a webpage or creating a social media post. It never hurts to make the size bigger since it’s much easier to scale it down later.

Name this new file a collage, and click OK to create it. I now have a blank canvas for creating the collage.

Step 4: Placing the Images

With the collage document created, I’ll start by clicking on one of the photo tabs and then selecting the entire area with the marquee tool. Choose the marquee tool and press Control or Command + A to select the whole picture.

I can now copy the photo by navigating to Edit > Copy.

Next, I’ll go back to the collage tab and paste the picture using Edit > Paste. The image should now be added to its layer.

Photoshop japan photos assembled
All the photos of Japan are now in the collage project file. Mark McPherson

I can now edit the size of the photo by using the transform tools. I’ll navigate to Edit > Free Transform with the photo layer selected.

The image can now be resized by clicking and dragging the anchor points around the border.

Once this photo is placed at the perfect size for adding more pictures to the canvas, I’ll repeat the process for the other images. I can now begin assembling my collage when they’re all brought in and sized accordingly. You can also try mirroring images simultaneously.

Step 5: Assembly of the Collage

This is the part where you’ll have to get creative. Select the Move tool in the toolbar to move around the photos.

Ps. I can also turn back on Free Transform for further resizing if I can get ideas while moving the pictures.

For this project, I’ve placed the images close together symmetrically.

Photoshop japan photos assembled free transform
The bottom photo is now smaller thanks to the Free Transform tool. Mark McPherson

Step 6: Spacing the Photos

To place white space between the images, I can resize them using free transform. However, there’s an easier way to create these borders.

I’ll add a Stroke to the images to give the photos the desired white space.

I can apply a Stroke by right-clicking on a photo layer in the layers panel and selecting Blending Options.

In the window that opens, I’ll click the Stroke checkbox to open up the Stroke properties. I’ll turn the stroke size up a few pixels, change the position to Inside, and make the stroke color white.

Photoshop japan photos stroke
Notice how the photo now has a border after adding a Stroke from the Blending Options.
Mark McPherson

My photo should now have a border inside that doesn’t interfere with the other pictures. I’ll then repeat this process for all the images to ensure uniformity.

Step 7: Merge The Layers

I can finalize the look.

As a last touch, let’s merge the layers. This can be done by selecting all the layers and navigating to Layer > Merge Visible. Combining all the layers will make the final collage easier to alter.

Photoshop japan photos merge
Here is where you’ll merge the photos together. Mark McPherson

Step 8: Crop and Resize

For the final touches, the collage is now easy to retool for cropping and resizing. Use the crop tool to trim off any extra edges that need removal. Then use the Image > Image Size to change the overall size of the collage if it needs to be smaller.

This is why it’s better to make your photo project big enough to be scaled down later.

Photoshop japan photos image size
The collage can now be resized as one layer. Mark McPherson

Step 9: Save and Export

I can now export the final product with the collage finished in Photoshop.  I’ll navigate to File > Save As and then save it as a JPEG, though you can save it as any file type you wish.

After giving the image a name and clicking OK, I can fine-tune the image quality.

Photoshop japan photos JPEG settings 1
Here’s the settings for making our collage final as a JPEG. Mark McPherson

After approving the quality, the image collage will render the final look.

I have a photo collage ready for online posting, emailing, or printing greeting cards.

Tips & Tricks

Consider Templates

If you sign up for Adobe Stock, you can access various Photoshop templates. Some of those templates are ideal for creating collages. If you want to make your collages faster, consider using these templates. You can view which templates are available through Stock by looking at them in the New Document window under the Templates area. Adobe Stock does cost extra, so be willing to spend a little extra for the automation.

Organize Your Photos

Before even opening Photoshop, ensure you’ve got a rough idea of the photos you want to use and how you might like them to appear. Once you’ve got an idea of what you’re creating, making the collage in Photoshop will proceed much more smoothly.

Don’t Crowd the Screen

When making a collage, limit the number of photos you use. Too many photos crammed into a collage can make the image hard to read and even lose the theme.

Edit Your Photos Before Collaging

When you bring your photos into Photoshop, consider using the Camera RAW filter on each one before placing them on the collage canvas. The filter will let you edit the picture for color, contrast, brightness, and color. This is a great way to ensure your photos look good and that they all fit a consistent tone in terms of how they look.


Photoshop can give you the most control when making a collage. There are more features to consider, but these essential features can aid in creating quick and easy picture collections. These are just the basics, so feel free to experiment more with Photoshop’s many functions.

It should be noted that these collage techniques only apply to Photoshop CS. To see how Photoshop CS compares to the version available on iPad.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Does Photoshop have collage templates?

A: Yes, Adobe does offer templates for collages within Photoshop through Adobe Stock. When creating a new document, there should be a template area. Click on it to search through several collage templates and find the one that looks best for your project.

Q: How do you make a collage on Photoshop fast?

A: The fastest way to make a collage in Photoshop is to bring your photos into a collage template available through Adobe Stock. Additionally, you can quickly make a collage by placing all your pictures on a Photoshop canvas, resizing them, and applying for an inner border.

Q: How do I make a collage grid in Photoshop?

A: The grid guides can create a collage grid in Photoshop. Create various grid lines for the specific sizes you want for your photos. Add shapes to the grid to act as borders for your images. Then add your photos to this grid. Be sure to shift around the grid lines, shapes, and photos until you have it right.

Q: Where is the collage tool in Photoshop?

A: Photoshop doesn’t have a collage tool. It has some tools for creating collages, including Free Transform and Strokes through Blending Options.

Q: How do I make a seamless collage in Photoshop?

A: The best way to make a seamless collage is to organize your photos while placing them. This can be done using grid guides to specify how your images will be placed.

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