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Photoshop Layer Sets

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Three Ways to Create a Layer Set

Now that the layers are all prepped and ready to go, you can start organizing them with layer sets. The file I've provided here for you to work on has already been prepared with proper layer names and arrangements. This work file is available for Windows and Macintosh users.

NOTE

If you plan to download the layered file to follow along, I've kept the font usage in the type layers to a pretty generic Arial.

  1. In the layers palette, find the red shape layer named Button 5 (it's in the middle of the stack), and click it to activate it (see Figure 5). You'll see that it is already linked to all the other buttons and another shape layer. From the layers palette menu, choose New Set from Linked. Name the set Nav Buttons and choose a red label color. You now have your first layer set. Click the triangle handle next to the folder icon, and you can open or close the set. Closing sets that you're not working on is a wonderful way to clean up the appearance of the layers palette.

    Figure 5 Creating a layer set from linked layers.

  2. Next, click the type layer immediately below the nav buttons set called Big News. This is one of the elements of a sidebar on the right side of the Web page. The other sidebar layers are sidebar red top, VectoVision-X42..., and sidebar blue field. You're going to group all of the sidebar components into a layer set. Because the layers are not linked, you'll do it differently than in the first set you made.

  3. From the layers palette menu, choose New Layer Set. Name the set Sidebar and give it a blue label color. Click OK. Now click the Big News layer and drag it on top of the folder icon for Sidebar, to add it to the new set. Follow the same procedure to add the other three sidebar layers to the sidebar set (see Figure 6).

    Figure 6 Adding layers to a new layer set.

  4. Just above the Nav Buttons layer set are five linked type layers for the nav names that correspond to the buttons. Click the top one to make it active, and, using the same method as in Step 1, create a new layer set from linked called "Nav Names"; give it a green color label.

  5. Above the new Nav Names layer set, create a layer set for all of the top layers except the browser window layer. Call this set Top Elements and label it with a violet color (see Figure 7).

    Figure 7 The finished layer sets for the Nav Names and Top Elements.

  6. Finally, click the type layer near the bottom of the stack called Since 1924..... At the bottom of the layers palette, click the folder icon to create a new set for these last three layers. Add the layers to the set. Using the shortcut icon doesn't allow you to name the set as you create it unless you hold down the Alt (PC) or Option (Mac) key as you click the icon. To rename a generically named layer set, simply double-click it. Call this last layer set Body Copy & BG, and give it a yellow color label. (See Figure 8.)

    Figure 8 The layer set for the Body Copy & Background.

Now take a look at that wonderfully organized layers palette in Figure 9! It's a thing of beauty and quite an improvement over the unorganized jumble that I started with. If you've ever had trouble finding a layer in one of your own files or had to deal with someone else's confusing multilayered file, you surely can see the advantage of using layer sets.

Figure 9 Using layer sets, the cluttered layers palette from the start of this tutorial is organized into a thing of beauty!

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