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Using the Spot Removal tool

Use the Spot Removal tool to remove small imperfections, such as spots caused by dust on the camera lens, blemishes in a portrait, or insects on flowers. Camera Raw locates a source area for the repair automatically, but you can also have some input.

To remove blemishes or spots: star.jpg

  1. Choose the Spot Removal tool c0057-08.jpg (B).
  2. Zoom in on an area to be repaired.
  3. Press [ or ] to size the brush cursor, then do one of the following:

    Ctrl-Alt-drag/Cmd-Option-drag outward from the center of a blemish to create and scale a target circle A; or click a blemish; or if you want to control which area Camera Raw uses as the source, Cmd-drag/Ctrl-drag from the target area to the desired source area. When you release the mouse, a red dashed circle surrounds the target region and a green dashed circle surrounds a source area. B


    A With the Spot Removal tool, we held down Ctrl-Alt/Cmd-Option and dragged to create a target circle around a blemish.


    B The tool created a linked source circle in a similar area and repaired the blemish.

    Drag across a blemish to create a target region. When you release the mouse, a red pin and dashed border surrounds the target region and a green pin and dashed border surrounds a source region. C–D


    C Here we’re dragging to create a target region.


    D The tool created a source region and two pins.

    • To display a black-and-white version of the photo to help you pinpoint dust spots or other irregularities, check Visualize Spots (Y). Adjust the black-to-white threshold via the slider.
  4. From the Type menu, choose Heal to blend source pixels into the texture and luminosity values of the target pixels (usually the best choice) or Clone to copy the source pixels exactly without any healing.

    Optional: To cycle through alternative source locations that Camera Raw detects, press /.

  5. Select a target or source region by clicking its pin or select a circle by clicking inside it, then do any of the following optional steps:

    To reposition a region or circle, drag inside it.

    To control the opacity of the repair, use the Opacity slider.

    To resize a pair of target and source circles (not irregular-shaped regions), drag the dashed border.

    To add to an existing region (or to convert a circle to a region), Shift-click or Shift-drag just outside it.

  6. Optional: Create more regions or circles to correct other blemishes. To remove a pin or circle, hold down Alt/Option and click it; or to delete multiple pins and circles, Alt/Option drag a marquee across them. (To remove all pins and circles, click Clear All.)
  7. To hide all regions and circles, uncheck Show Overlay (V).
  8. To redisplay the main tabs, press H (Hand tool).

    • To redisplay the Spot Removal overlays at any time, choose the tool again (press B).
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