- Getting Started with Layers
- Blending Two or More Images (Intro to Layer Masks)
- Getting Started with Layer Blend Modes
- Five Layers Things to Know Before We Move On
- Adding Drop Shadows and Other Layer Effects
- Resizing Something on a Layer
- Organizing Your Layers
- Adjustment Layers
- Smart Filter Layers
- Making a Simple Composite
- Four MORE Important Layers Techniques
Five Layers Things to Know Before We Move On
These are some of those things you’ll want to know before we move on because we use a lot of these things in our day-to-day layers work.
#1: How to Duplicate a Layer
To duplicate a layer, click on the layer in the Layers panel and press Command-J (PC: Ctrl-J). This works whether it’s a regular layer or the Background layer. Weird thing: if you duplicate the Background layer, it names the duplicate “Layer 1” (as seen here). Not weird yet. If you duplicate that layer, it doesn’t name it “Layer 2.” It names it “Layer 1 copy.” Weird.
#2: Moving Multiple Layers
If you want to move multiple layers in your image at the same time, there are two ways to do this: (1) Click on the first layer you want to move, then press-and-hold the Command (PC: Ctrl) key, and then click on the other layers you want to move at the same time to select them (I’ve Command-clicked on three layers here, and all three are highlighted). Now, when you drag any of those layers in your image, all of your selected layers move as one unit. That method moves them only as long as they’re selected. If you want something more permanent, you can Command-click on the layers you want, and then click the Link Layers icon at the bottom of the Layers panel (shown circled here). Now, those panels stay linked to each other until you click that icon again.
#3: Quickly Move a Layer in the Layer Stack
If you want to quickly move a particular layer to the top of the layer stack (as seen here on the right), click on the layer, and then press Command-Shift-] (Right Bracket key; Ctrl-Shift-]). You can move any layer to the bottom of the stack using the same shortcut, but just use the Left Bracket ([) key instead.
#4: How to Merge Two or More Layers
If you have two layers that you want to be just one, click on the top layer and press Command-E (PC: Ctrl-E). If you want to merge more than two layers together, press-and-hold the Command (PC: Ctrl) key, click on the layers you want to merge into one, and then press the same keyboard shortcut.
#5: How to Flatten Your Layers
When you’re done working with your layers and you want to flatten your image—keeping the same look as your current image—go to the Layers panel’s flyout menu (at the top-right corner of the panel), and down near the bottom, choose Flatten Image (as shown here).