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Quick Summary: Using the Layers palette

Task

Method

Create a new layer, 100% opacity and fill

Click the New Layer buttonnew_layer.jpg

Create and choose options (name, identifying color, etc.) for a new layer

Alt-click/Option-click the New Layer button new_layer.jpgor press Ctrl-Shift-N/Cmd-Shift-N

Copy selected pixels to a new layer

Press Ctrl-J/Cmd-J; or right-click/Control-click in the document window and choose Layer via Copy

Duplicate the Background, a layer, or a layer group

Click the Background, a layer, or a layer group, then press Ctrl-J/Cmd-J. Or drag it over the New Layer button new_layer.jpg

Select multiple layers

Shift-click or Ctrl-click/Cmd-click to the right of the layer names

Select all layers (not the Background)

Press Ctrl-Alt-A/Cmd-Option-A (or choose Select > All Layers)

Select all layers of a similar kind (e.g., all image layers or all adjustment layers)

Right-click/Control-click a layer and choose Select Similar Layers

Select a layer or layer group below the pointer that contains visible pixels

Choose the Move tool move.jpg(V), check Auto-Select and choose Group or Layer on the Options bar, then click visible pixels

Open the Layer Style dialog

Double-click next to a layer name

Convert the Background to a layer

Alt-double-click/Option-double-click the Background (or double-click it with no modifier key to choose options)

Create a Background if there is none

Click a layer, then choose Layer > New > Background from Layer

Create a layer group from existing layers

Select multiple layers, then press Ctrl-G/Cmd-G

Ungroup a group and keep the layers

Click the layer group, then press Ctrl-Shift-G/Cmd-Shift-G

Delete a group and its contents

Right-click/Control-click a layer group and choose Delete Group, then click Group and Contents

Delete a layer, bypassing the prompt

Click a layer, then Alt-click/Option-click the Delete Layer buttondelete_layer.jpg

Hide or show all layers except one

Alt-click/Option-click a visibility icon; or right-click/Control-click the visibility column and choose Show or Hide All Other Layers

Reposition a layer group in the document

Choose the Move tool (V),move.jpg check Auto-Select and choose Group on the Options bar, then drag in the document window (to move just one layer in a group, choose Layer instead)

Choose palette options

Right-click/Control-click a layer thumbnail; choose from the menu

Change the color behind the visibility icon

Right-click/Control-click the visibility column and choose a color (this can be done to color code layer groups)

Merge layers

Click the upper of two layers (the bottom one must be an image layer) or select multiple layers, then right-click/Control-click and choose Merge Down or Merge Layers (Ctrl-E/Cmd-E) or Merge Visible (Ctrl-Shift-E/Cmd-Shift-E)

Flatten layers (discards hidden layers)

Right-click/Control-click a layer and choose Flatten Image

Copy and merge layers

Select multiple layers, then hold down Alt/Option and choose Merge Visible from the palette menu

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