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This chapter is from the book

Layers

Why it appears: When you delete a layer mask by clicking on the Trash icon at the bottom of the Layers palette, you have two choices: have the mask permanently remove the pixels by clicking Apply or discard the mask and start over by clicking Delete.

How to fix it: It's not really a fix; you just have to choose between these options.

How to prevent it from happening: Hold down Option (PC: Alt) as you drag the layer mask thumbnail to the Layers palette's Trash icon.

Why it appears: With a layer selected, you've clicked on the Trash icon in the Layers palette or chosen Delete Layer from the Layers palette's flyout menu.

How to fix it: Hold down Option (PC: Alt) as you click on the Trash icon (with the layer selected).

How to prevent it from happening: Click the Don't Show Again checkbox in the warning dialog.

Why it appears: This is one of the more obvious ones—the layer is locked.

How to fix it: Click OK, unlock the layer by selecting it and turning off the Lock icon at the top of the Layers palette, then try your edits again.

How to prevent it from happening: Double-check the Lock controls before starting the operation.

Why it appears: One or more of the linked layers you're trying to edit are locked.

How to fix it: Click OK, unlock the layer(s) by selecting it and turning off the Lock icon at the top of the Layers palette, then try your edits again.

How to prevent it from happening: Check the Lock controls before starting the operation.

Why it appears: Several layers are selected and you're trying to use a tool that can only work on one layer at a time (very few tools will work when more than one layer is selected).

How to fix it: Click OK in the warning dialog, make sure only one layer is selected in the Layers palette, and then continue.

How to prevent it from happening: Check the Layers palette before you start using a tool. (Note: In some cases, the warning will actually be specific, saying: “Could not use the [tool name] because more than one layer is selected.”)

Why it appears: Same as the previous warning, but only a few tools cause this warning.

How to fix it: Click OK in the warning dialog, make sure only one layer is selected in the Layers palette, and then continue.

How to prevent it from happening: Check the Layers palette before starting the operation.

Why it appears: As the warning suggests, no layer is selected.

How to fix it: Click OK in the warning dialog, make sure that the appropriate layer is selected in the Layers palette, and then continue.

How to prevent it from happening: Check the Layers palette before starting the operation.

Why it appears: Another fairly obvious one—the target layer (the one you're trying to work on) is not visible.

How to fix it: Click OK in the warning dialog, then make sure the target layer is visible by clicking in the empty Layer Visibility box (the Eye icon will appear to the left of the layer's name) and continue the operation.

How to prevent it from happening: Check the Layers palette before starting the operation.

Why it appears: Same as the previous warning, but in some cases the tool is named (as opposed to reading simply “could not complete your request”).

How to fix it: Click OK in the warning dialog, make sure the target layer is visible by clicking in the empty Layer Visibility box (so the Eye icon appears), and then continue.

How to prevent it from happening: Check the Layers palette before starting the operation.

Why it appears: With a Group selected, you chose Delete>Group from the Layer menu (or clicked on the Trash icon in the bottom of the Layers palette).

How to fix it: This is an example of when you have to make a choice between deleting the Group and its contents, or only the Group (keeping the individual layers while removing the Group—basically “ungrouping” the layers).

How to prevent it from happening: If (and only if) you want to delete the entire Group and its contents, select the Group and then Option-click (PC: Alt-click) on the Layers palette's Trash icon.

Why it appears: When you change your color mode to Indexed Color (under the Image>Mode submenu), the file cannot contain multiple layers—whether they're visible or not.

How to fix it: Click OK in the dialog to accept flattening, or click Cancel and go to File>Save As to save a copy of the layered file before you convert it to Indexed Color.

How to prevent it from happening: Check to see if layers are hidden or should be hidden before changing to Indexed Color mode. (Note: If your file contains no hidden layers, the dialog will simply ask if you want to flatten layers, but the “fix” is the same regardless.)

Why it appears: If you have hidden layers (meaning some layers do not have Eye icons to the left of their names) and you choose Flatten Image from the Layers palette's flyout menu.

How to fix it: Click OK in the dialog to accept, or click Cancel and show your hidden layers before flattening by clicking in the empty Layer Visibility box to the left of the layer's name to make the Eye icon appear.

How to prevent it from happening: Check to see if layers are hidden before flattening.

Why it appears: You have blend modes applied in the Layers palette, and then change the color mode of the document (Image>Mode). Blend modes may look different depending on the document's color mode.

How to fix it: Click Flatten to flatten the file (in an attempt to preserve the appearance of the blend modes), click Don't Flatten to change modes without merging the layers, or click Cancel to not change the mode.

How to prevent it from happening: This is one example of a situation where you may need to proceed to see what happens, so you actually want this warning to appear.

Why it appears: You have one or more adjustment layers in your document, and then you change the color mode (Image>Mode), for example from RGB to Grayscale.

How to fix it: Your options are to Flatten the image (which will attempt to preserve the appearance as much as possible), Cancel (to stop from changing the color mode), or OK (to change the color mode and discard any adjustment layers).

How to prevent it from happening: Again, this may be a case of “try it and see.”You can always undo.

Why it appears: You have a Smart Object in your document, and then you change the color mode of the document (Image>Mode).

How to fix it: Your options are to Rasterize the Smart Object (which will attempt to preserve the appearance as much as possible), Cancel (to stop from changing the color mode), or Rasterize (to change the color mode and rasterize the Smart Object).

How to prevent it from happening: Once again, this may be a case of “try it and see.”You can undo if you don't like the result.

Why it appears: When you alter a layer that's used in a layer comp, an alert icon appears to the right of the comp in the Layer Comps palette (which is nested in the Palette Well). Clicking on the alert icon will open this dialog.

How to fix it: You have to decide whether to accept the warning (by clicking Clear) or to cancel (by clicking Cancel). If you're not sure whether to change that layer comp or not, click Cancel and then determine if the change is acceptable.

Why it appears: You try to run a script to turn layer comps into separate documents, a PDF slide show, or a Web Photo Gallery (File>Scripts), but the document you're using contains no layer comps.

How to fix it: Make sure your document contains layer comps before running the script by looking in the Layer Comps palette (which is docked in the Palette Well).

Why it appears: With a vector mask thumbnail active in the Layers palette, you click on the Trash icon.

How to fix it: Hold down the Option (PC: Alt) key when you click on the Trash icon.

Why it appears: You open a document that contains fonts that are not installed on your system.

How to fix it: Quit Photoshop, install the font if possible, then relaunch Photoshop and reopen the document. If the fonts are not available, you'll have to change those Type layers to a different font by highlighting the text with the Type tool (T) and choosing a different font in the Options Bar.

Why it appears: You open a document with Type layers that was created in a previous version of Photoshop.

How to fix it: If you choose Update, you'll be able to edit and output the Type layers; however, the text could reflow slightly. If you choose No, the text will look the same, but you won't be able to print at high quality.

Why it appears: You open a document that was saved in a previous version of Photoshop, and some fonts are no longer installed on your system.

How to fix it: See the previous two dialogs for the solutions to missing fonts and files saved in older versions.

Why it appears: There are only a few things you can do to a Smart Object without rasterizing (such as changing layer opacity, transforming, and/or adding layer styles). If you try to apply a filter or otherwise alter a Smart Object, you'll get this warning.

How to fix it: Click OK in the warning dialog to rasterize the Smart Object, but recognize that you lose the “smart” aspect of the layer. Or, click Cancel to preserve the Smart Object and try a different approach. (Note: When you click Cancel, another dialog may appear if you're using a tool. See the next dialog for an explanation.)

How to prevent it from happening: Remember, the few operations you can perform on a Smart Object include changing the Opacity or Fill, transforming, and/or adding layer styles. Almost anything else will require that you remove the “smart” aspect of the layer.

Why it appears: It's a variation on the previous warning. If you click Cancel in the dialog previously mentioned—and you happen to be using a tool—this dialog will appear to simply confirm that Smart Objects are not directly editable.

How to fix it: As in the previous warning dialog, you have to decide whether or not to preserve the Smart Object.

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