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When this happens to me, it's usually because I have forgotten that some portion of the image I'm not paying attention to at the moment is selected. Deselect everything, and -- bingo -- the clone tool works again.

Michael Wolfe

Has anyone answered "sarah's" question about the clone stamp not working on MAC, PS version 4.0, new reinstall, because the cursed thing keeps saying "the area to clone has not been defined. Use Option Click to define area." Of course, that doesn't work. This problem appeared after I upgraded to 4.0.1. Then I discovered they took away all the neat filters. What's that about!!?? So I deleted it and went back to 4.0. No clone stamp. Thanks in advance for your help.
M. Wolfman

Wolfe Michael

How do there sites work? Where's the answer to Sarah's question above about clone area? Are there no answers? Does one have to pay? How do these type of sites work?


M. Wolfe

Ker Ong

If you're clone and healing tools aren't working then check to see if you have any layers turned on;if so, flatten them or turn them off and then the tools should work.


Since this topic comes up with Google, here's my solution for the not-working-alt-button when cloning:

The onscreen keyboard that comes with Windows seems te work for me. As a quick workaround this should help. You'll find the keyboard with the disability tools in the Accesories folder of the Start Menu.


Thanks for the Shift-Caps Lock key combo. That fixed the problem for me.

Joey K

Never mind, I figured it out.

If you try and use VMWare Fusion (on a Mac) to map any custom keystrokes with the Shift, Control, or Alt keys (or any combination of the three), then inside Windows it will disable those keystrokes with a mouse click. If you're not using Photoshop you won't notice this anomaly, but if you are, you can't Shift-Click, Control-Click, or Alt-Click if any of your custom key mapping contains those 3 modifier keys.

You can't just disable the custom mapping keys. You have to completely delete them out of the list in your preferences in order for modifier-click Photoshop functionality to return.

Sheesh, what a pain.

Joey K

Unfortunately I just now started getting the Alt-click bug where it won't pick it up, even with a re-installation of Photoshop. I haven't installed anything that would "take over" the Alt-click function, and I've uninstalled some applications that I thought might be causing the problem, but alas, the Clone Stamp feature is still disabled for me.

FWIW, this is in a VMWare Fusion 2.0 installation of Windows XP, but I had successfully used the clone stamp until recently. I don't know what other options I have now.


I had a problem with the clone tool always displaying "could not use the clone stamp because the area to clone has not been defined" whatever I did - I even reinstalled PS.

The problem turned out to be a window resizing utility that I was running (KDE-SizerXP - an otherwise really nice little prog) that hooks the 'Alt' key.

Suspended the utility and.. sorted :¬)


I had the same problem.
My clone tool had been working and then just moments later it stopped.
When I tried to use it, HISTORY said it was being used, but I could not see any cloning taking place on the screen.
Turns out that I had somehow managed to lower the opacity to 1%.
So... Check to make sure the opacity is 100%.
Hope that helps.


I'm having problems using the Clone tool also. When I Option-Click on the spot I'm trying to 'clone stamp' from, the curser turns from the Clone Stamp/Circle/Crossbar to the black arrow and back to the Circle/Crossbar over and over again. Then when I click, I receive the "Could not use the clone stamp because the area to clone has not been defined (option-click to define a source point)" message. It worked fine when I was using a PC, but I can't get it to work on my Mac. Any suggestions?

Robin Degen

I have used the clone tool many times before in older photoshop versions, but this one just doesn't work. As stated before, the history shows "clone stamp" but nothing actually happens. Brush settings are fine.


Hi new to photoshop have been using clone tool on precious photos worked a treat I have gone back into the program using a different pic. and now it is only clone bits of the pic. Will not truly cover the place that I am trying to replace. I have fixed the opacity to 100% ? getting very frustrated............help


Make sure the opacity is set to 100%


Actually, it just the Caps Lock key. When Caps Lock is on, so are the crosshairs. Caps Lock off, the circle is on.


Quite by accident, I've discovered the solution to my problem and Bill Akin's (how do you toggle from crosshairs to circle area on the clone tool).

So, I'm sharing.
I inadvertently hit my keyboard with my left elbow and toggled from the circle to the crosshairs. Damn! But it let me know that the key command had to be in the Shift-Caps Lock area.

SOLUTION: to get the circle to reappear press the Caps Lock and the shift key together.

I'll bet it works for the erase tool and others as well. Why anyone would want the crosshairs is beyond me.


Sorry, that was Bill Atkin's question about the circle vs cross-hair problem.
My question still stands, Has anyone found a solution to the cloning tool problem of how to control the circle/cross-hair tool?


Has anybody found the answer to Surjit Matharu's question about controlling the circle vs cross-hair tool method for cloning, erasing, etc.?
I've had the tool switch during a session. Occasionally, rebooting the program or the computer will get me back to the circle, but not always.
Is there some switching key or menu somewhere?


I'm also having the same difficulty with the clone stamp tool. I alt-click but it doesn't seem to pick up anything.


I have a problem with my clone stamp because even if I press Alt and then click, a pop-up will tell me that I must use Alt+click. Help-! It's not working!


I found this forum looking for an answer to a simular problem I had with the Clone Stamp not showing any effect. I noticed that my history was recording the actions but there were no marks on my image.

My problem turned out to be that I had turned on my Quick Mask view just below the color boxes on the tool bar.

Just switch it (back) to Standard (the one on the left) and it should be fine.

Hope that helps!

Surjit Matharu

I have never used photoshop cs before I am new at it. Now I need to clone an image on my main page and the other image is in a different folder, how shall I proceed. please help


Sometimes when using the paint brush or clone stamp or other similar tools I have a circle encompassing the area I am painting or cloning and sometimes I just have the cross hairs in the center. How can I make the circle always appear so I know what I am painting or cloning versus just having the cross hairs in the middle and having to guess where my edges are.


Where is the aligned function mentioned above? I can't get my clone stamp unstuck from the previous cloning. Thanks!


My clone tool and Healing brush tools and the stamp aren't working either. It's so weird, it just doesn't do anything!

anyone knows how to fix it? is it memory? scratch discs or what?

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