Let's face it, most of us buy image-editing software to make ourselves and our photography skills look better. But we don't need to be an expert to get some decent results.

In the following walkthrough, we'll show you how to repair damaged photos using that little-known function - copy and paste. Even the computer illiterate can master this one!

1. Most images can be corrected using the Clone tool, but occasionally an area will be too complex for this method. For instance, when we need to repair a large area of patterned fabric. For the best results, you should copy and paste from an unblemished area of the image.

Step 1

Step 1

2. Select the Freehand Selection tool from your tools palette. Unless you’re confident using a freehand tool, I’d suggest changing the selection type from its default ‘Freehand’ to the easier-to-use ‘Point to point’. This option can be found in the Settings palette above the workspace.

Step 2

Step 2

3. Adding Feather (also found in the Settings palette) to your tool will soften the pasted area’s edges, reducing the amount of editing you’ll need to do afterwards. Now choose an area that has a similar pattern to that of the damaged area. We’ve chosen an area with a similar shadow, directly above our damaged area.

Step 3

Step 3

4. Draw a path around the unblemished area by clicking to add points; close the path by double-clicking your final point. Make sure your selection is large enough to cover your damaged area. If there’s not enough undamaged image then you may have to duplicate your selection several times.

Step 4

Step 4

5. Normally you’d copy and paste your selection to a new layer at this stage, but Corel’s Pick tool does the job for you. Select the Pick tool from the Tools palette and drag your selection to the new, transparent layer that’s been created. If you intend to make more than one repair it’s a good idea to rename each layer.

Step 5

Step 5

6. Drag your selection over the damaged area. Use the arrow keys on your keyboard to tweak the movement in very small increments. If needed, select the Eraser tool, change its Opacity to 50 percent and gently trim the edges of your selection. You can also use the Clone tool to add in any missing detail.

Step 6

Step 6

7. Using a combination of both methods, you can repair most old photos. The edges of a picture may be so damaged, however, that the best thing to do is trim them off. Select the Crop tool from the Tools palette and a crop box will appear on your image. Drag the corners to the correct position, then double-click to crop.

Step 7

Step 7

8. Now all that remains is to add a clean border. Under Image, select either Picture Frame or Add Borders. Picture Frame will display a selection of fancy frames; Add Borders brings up a dialog box into which you can very simply input the size and colour of your required border.

Step 8

Step 8

See also: How to repair photos using the Clone Brush