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Photoshop Reference Guide

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The Background Layer

Last updated Mar 14, 2003.

By this point, you have probably noticed this mysterious layer in some of your Photoshop documents titled "Background". The Background layer is a layer that is automatically created for you when you create a new Photoshop image file—unless you create a new image with a transparent background. The Background layer is locked so that you cannot move it, but you can still draw or paint on it if you choose.

Figure 2Figure 2 The Background layer

After you have added additional layers to an image you're working on (more on adding layers later), you can delete the Background layer by double-clicking it, clicking OK in the New Layer dialog box that appears, and then dragging it (now called Layer 0), to the trash can icon at the bottom of the Layers palette.

As its name implies, the Background layer is there to serve as the background of your image composition, which is why Photoshop automatically creates it for you.