Photoshop – Working with Layer

Creating new Layer Layer Palette Renaming Hiding
Repositioning Deleting Linking Merging
Layer effects Aligning Layers Layer Mask Adjustment Layer
Clipping Group

Photoshop layers are transparent sheets stacked one on top of the other. All new layers in an image are transparent until you add any art work. Where there is no image on a layer, you can see through to the layers below. Behind all of the layers is the background. Every photoshop files contains one or more layers. Adobe Photoshop lets you create up to 100 layers in an image, however, the amount of memory in your system may put a lower limit on the number of layers possible in a single image. Individual sheets of acetate may be edited, repositioned, and deleted with out affecting the other sheets.

You can view and manipulate layers with the Layer palette. If the Layer palette is not visible on your screen, choose Window > showLayers.

Photoshop – Creating new layers

photoshop layers
In this fig image contains 4 layers
To start, create new file by choosing File> New from the menu. It contains one layer(Layer1). You can add new layer to this by doing the following .
• Choose Layer > New > Layer.
• New Layer button photoshop new layer at the bottom of the Layers palette.
Newly added layers appear above the selected layer in the Layers palette.Double click on the newly created layer in the layers palette. Enter a name, opacity, and mode for the layer. Click OK. In the fig I added a square, circle and triangle to each layer.


Photoshop – Working with Layer Palette

You can use the layer palette to hide, view, reposition, delete, rename, and merge layers. If the Layer palette is not visible on your screen, choose Window > showLayers. The layer palette displays all layers with layer name and a thumb nail of the layer’s image.

Rename layer: Double click on the layer(Or right click on the layer and select layer options.. )in the layers palette, which opens the layer option dialog box. Enter a name, opacity, and mode for the layer. Click OK.


Hide layers : In the layer palette,there is an eye icon (show/ hide layer) to the far left of a layer name.It indicates that the layer is visible. You can hide or show a layer by clicking this icon.


Rearranging Layers: The order in which the layers of an image are organized is called the stacking order. You can change the order to make certain part of the image to appear in front or behind other layers. To reposition do the following.
> In the layer palette, click on the layer you want to reposition
> drag it to desired position

show / hide layer
In Fig 2 circle layer is hidden.
The square layer is repositioned to the top. The square layer now blocks the triangle layer and you can not see it. You can reduce the opacity of the square layer.


Changing opacity and mode of the layer: First select the layer(for eg select layer square).Then press the arrow next to the Opacity text box in the layer palette and drag the slider. Next try applying some bending modes from the mode menu seen left to the opacity text box.
( In the fig the opacity of square layer changed to 20%.So the layer under that become visible.)
layer opacity


Deleting layer: To delete a layer do any of the following,
> click the Delete Layer button (Delete Layer button) at the bottom of the Layers palette.
> right click on the layer and select Delete Layer.., click yes.


Linking Layers: You can link two, or more layers together and move or transform them simultaneously. By linking you can maintaining their alignment with each other.

Here we are going to link the square layer with the circle layer. Click on the square layer, then click the small box to the right of the eye icon for the circle layer. A link icon appears in the box indicating that circle layer is linked to square layer. To remove the linking just click on the link icon icon appears in the box.

Now You can move or transform the two layers simultaneously. You can change the alignment of linked layer by choosing Layer > Align linked .

link photoshop layers


Merging and Flattening: Eventhough Adobe Photoshop lets you create up to 100 layers in an image, its better to lower the number of layers in a single image to reduce the file size.

1) To merge all layer to the current selected layer choose Layer > Merge visible.
2) To merge all linked layer to the current selected layer choose Layer > Merge linked.
3) To merge all layers to a single background choose Layer > flatten Image.

Note: To merge two type layers together, you have to convert the type layer to a regular layer. Learn more about photoshop type layer here


Adding layer effects: You can enhance a layer by adding a shadow, glow, bevel, or emboss effects.To apply layer effects do any of the following,
> Choose Layer > effects from the menu.
> Right click on the layer and select effects.

Learn more about photoshop layer effects here.


Aligning Layers

You can use the Align Linked command to align content of two or more linked layers to the contents of the active layer.For Example in the following fig2 the images on circle & triangle layers are aligned to vertical center of square layer.

photoshop layer align
photoshop align layer

1) Click the square layer to make it active(fig1).
2) Click the link column to the right of eye icon for layers circle and triangle layer to link them to the square layer (fig1) .
3) Choose Layer > Align Linked > Vertical Center (Fig2).


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