What is Software? | What is Education? | What is Technology? | What is Research? | What is Wi-Fi? | What is Communication? | What is Customer Service?

Free SEO Tutorials & Help

Tutorials:   Adobe Flash   Adobe Photoshop   CorelDRAW   SEO  

Site Map

Website Development | Cable & Broadband Magazine | Solutions for Higher Education | Auction Anything Online

Adobe Photoshop Help & Tutorials

 Back to Topics

How to Work with Layers in Photoshop

About channels

Top


    Layers allow you to work on one element of an image without disturbing the others. Think of layers as sheets of acetate stacked one on top of the other. Where there is no image on a layer, you can see through to the layers below. You can change the composition of an image by changing the order and attributes of layers. In addition, special features such as adjustment layers, fill layers, and layer styles let you create sophisticated effects.

    Illustration of how transparent areas on a layer let you see through to the layers below
    Illustration of how transparent areas on a layer let you see through to the layers below

    You can put multiple layers together in different ways:

    • Groups let you view and physically manipulate multiple layers as a single object.
    • Sets let you assign attributes to multiple layers as a single object.
    • Links let you link layers together to use them as a single object. If you're using new files, use layer groups instead of linking layers (ImageReady).
Working with layers (ImageReady)

Top


    ImageReady layers have additional features that simplify Web design. For example, you can select multiple layers, either in the layers palette or directly in the document. Selected layers do not have to be contiguous. Once selected, layers can be aligned, distributed, moved, transformed, and grouped.

Using the Layers palette

Top

    The Layers palette lists all layers, layer sets, and layer effects in an image. You can accomplish many tasks--such as creating, hiding, displaying, copying, and deleting layers--using the buttons in the Layers palette. You can access additional commands and options in the Layers palette menu and the Layers menu.

    Illustration of Photoshop Layers palette with these callouts: A. Layers palette menu B. Layer set C. Layer D. Layer thumbnail E. Layer effect
     

    Photoshop Layers palette A. Layers palette menu B. Layer set C. Layer D. Layer thumbnail E. Layer effect

    Displaying the Layers palette

    Choose Window > Layers. Be sure to move the palette from the dock to enable the palette menu.

    Using the Layers palette menu

    Click the triangle Display palette menu button in the upper right corner of the palette to access commands for working with layers.

    Changing the size of layer thumbnails

    Choose Palette Options from the Layers palette menu, and select a thumbnail size.

    Changing thumbnail contents (ImageReady)

    Choose Palette Options from the Layers palette menu, and select Entire Document to display the contents of the entire document. Select Layer Bounds to restrict the thumbnail to the object's pixels on the layer. This makes it easier to see in the Layers palette. Check the Show Layer Group Thumbnails box to show a composite image of the group rather than the group icon.

    Tip iconTurn off thumbnails to improve performance and save monitor space.

    Expanding and collapsing layer sets

    Click the triangle to the left of a layer set folder. In Photoshop, press Alt (Windows) or Option (Mac OS) when clicking the triangle to expand or collapse all effects applied to layers contained within the set. Press Alt (Windows) or Option (Mac OS) when clicking the triangle to expand or collapse all sets, including nested layer sets. Press Ctrl (Windows) or Command (Mac OS) when clicking to see all sets at the same level as the selected one.

Creating layers and layer sets

Top


    A new image in Photoshop or ImageReady has a single layer. The number of additional layers, layer effects, and layer sets you can add to an image is limited only by your computer's memory.

    Layer sets help you organize and manage layers. You can use layer sets to semantically arrange your layers to reduce clutter in the Layers palette. You can nest sets within other sets. You can also use layer sets to apply attributes and masks to multiple layers simultaneously.

    In ImageReady, you may find that working with layer groups rather than layer sets is more efficient.

Distributing layers

Top


    You can distribute your layers in your document in a number of different ways. Both Photoshop and ImageReady have tools that let you distribute the layers in commonly used formations, and you can can customize the distribution as well. For instance, you might have layers that you want to align by centers but that might cause some overlap. So you can distribute the space between the layers evenly to remedy the problem.

To evenly distribute layers and layer groups:

  1. Link three or more layers (Photoshop) or select multiple layers or a layer group with the Move tool (ImageReady).
  2. Choose Layers > Distribute Linked (Photoshop) or Edit > Distribute Linked Layers (ImageReady) from the main menu, or in the options bar, click a Distribution button. Each of these buttons works on linked layers in Photoshop, or multiple selected layers or layer groups in ImageReady:
    • Top edges Distribute Top Edges button spaces the layers evenly starting from the top pixel on each layer.
    • Vertical Centers Distribute Top Edges button spaces the layers evenly starting from the vertical center pixel of each layer.
    • Bottom Edges Distribute Top Edges button spaces the layers evenly starting from the bottom pixel of each layer.
    • Left Edges Distribute Top Edges button spaces the layers evenly starting from the left pixel of each layer.
    • Horizontal Centers Distribute Top Edges button spaces the layers evenly starting from the horizontal center of each layer.
    • Right Edges Distribute Top Edges button spaces the layers evenly starting from the right pixel on each layer.
    Layers spaced unevenly (top) and spaced evenly (bottom)
    Layers spaced unevenly (top) and spaced evenly (bottom)

To distribute layers unevenly (ImageReady):

  1. Select the Move tool.
  2. Select the layers you wish to space.
  3. Enter a number in the Distribute Spacing box to the right of the Distribution buttons in the options bar. This number equals the number of pixels that will separate the layers. You can choose different numbers for different combinations of layers or layer groups to create an uneven spacing pattern.
  4. Choose one of the Distribute Vertically or Distribute Horizontally buttons to finish the distribution process.
    Space Between Distributed Layers Box lets you input size of layer separation.
    Space Between Distributed Layers Box lets you input size of layer separation.
Managing Layers

Top


    After you add layers to an image, you can use the Layers palette to manage them, and in ImageReady you can use the File menu to export them.

Setting opacity and blending options

Top


    A layer's opacity and blending options determine how its pixels interact with pixels on other layers.

Using layer effects and styles


    Layer styles let you quickly apply effects to a layer's content. You can scan through a variety of predefined layer styles and apply a style with just a click of the mouse, or you can create a custom style by applying multiple effects to a layer.

Using adjustment layers and fill layers (Photoshop)

Top


    Adjustment layers and fill layers add another level of flexibility to working with layers. Adjustment layers allow you to experiment with color and apply tonal adjustments to an image; fill layers allow you to quickly add color, patterns, and gradient elements to an image. If you change your mind about the results, you can go back and edit or remove the adjustment or fill at any time.

    Original, adjustment layer applied to barn only (which brings out more detail in the barn), and adjustment layer applied to entire image (which lightens everything but pixelates the clouds)
    Original, adjustment layer applied to barn only (which brings out more detail in the barn), and adjustment layer applied to entire image (which lightens everything but pixelates the clouds)
Working with layer comps

Top


    Designers often create multiple compositions or comps of a page layout to show clients. Using layer comps, you can create, manage and view multiple versions of a layout in a single Photoshop or ImageReady file. Layer comps are fully interchangeable between Photoshop and ImageReady.

    Note: ImageReady reads only RGB files, so pay special attention to RGBs you get from color conversions (from CMYK, Lab, and so on) in Photoshop. This is important in testing your layer comps.

Creating clipping masks

Top


    You can use the content of a layer to mask the layers above it. The transparent pixels of the bottom or base layer mask out the content of layers above it that are part of a clipping mask. For example, you might have a shape on one layer, a texture on the overlying layer, and some text on the topmost layer. If you define all three layers as part of a clipping mask, the texture and the text appear only through the shape on the base layer, and take on the opacity of the base layer.

    Note that only successive layers can be included in a clipping mask. The name of the base layer in the mask is underlined, and the thumbnails for the overlying layers are indented. Additionally, the overlying layers display a clipping mask icon Clipping mask icon . The Blend Clipped Layers as Group option in the Layer Style dialog box determines whether the blending mode of the base affects the whole group or just the base.

    Clipping mask with Potatoes and Logo layers
    Clipping mask with Potatoes and Logo layers

To create a clipping mask:

    Do one of the following:

    • Hold down Alt (Windows) or Option (Mac OS), position the pointer over the line dividing two layers in the Layers palette (the pointer changes to two overlapping circles Overlapping circles pointer), and click.
    • Select a layer in the Layers palette, and choose Layer > Create Clipping Mask.
    • Link the desired layers in the Layers palette. Then choose Layer > Create Clipping Mask from Linked.

    The clipping mask is assigned the opacity and mode attributes of the bottommost layer in the group.

To duplicate a clipping mask to another layer

  1. Select the clipping mask.
  2. Alt-click (Windows) or Option-click (Mac OS) the mask and drag it to the destination layer. Make sure the destination layer highlights before letting go of the mouse button; otherwise, the layer won't receive the mask properly.

To remove a layer from a clipping mask:

    Do one of the following:

    • Hold down Alt (Windows) or Option (Mac OS), position the pointer over the line separating two grouped layers in the Layers palette (the pointer changes to two overlapping circles Overlapping circles pointer ), and click.
    • In the Layers palette, select a layer in the clipping mask, and choose Layer > Release Clipping Mask. This command removes the selected layer and any layers above it from the clipping mask.

To ungroup all layers in a clipping mask:

  1. In the Layers palette, select the base layer in the clipping mask.
  2. Choose Layer > Release Clipping Mask.

Copyright ADOBE - All Rights Reserved Worldwide

 

 

More Topics:

Explore Work Area  in Photoshop

Key Board Shortcuts in Photoshop:

How to get an Image into Photoshop and ImageReady

Keys for selecting tools in Photoshop

How to Producing Consistent Color in Photoshop

Keys for selecting tools in the Extract toolbox in Photoshop

Working with Color in Photoshop

Keys for selecting tools in the Liquify toolbox in Photoshop

How to do Color and Tonal Adjustments in Photoshop

Keys for working with Extract*, Liquify, and Pattern Maker* in Photoshop

How to work with Selections in Photoshop

Keys for using the File Browser in Photoshop

How to work with Transforming and Retouching in Photoshop

Keys for using the Filter Gallery in Photoshop

Keys for using the Actions palette in Photoshop

Learn Drawing in Photoshop

Keys for using the Camera Raw dialog box in Photoshop

Keys for using the Animation palette in ImageReady

Learn Painting in Photoshop

Keys for using Photomerge in Photoshop

Keys for using the Brushes palette in Photoshop

How to use Channels in Photoshop

Keys for working with blending modes in Photoshop

Keys for using the Channels palette  in Photoshop

How to Work with Layers in Photoshop

Keys for viewing images in Photoshop

Keys for using the Color palette in Photoshop

How to apply Filters & Special Effects in Photoshop

Keys for selecting and moving objects in Photoshop

Keys for using the Color Table palette in ImageReady

How to use Character & Type in Photoshop

Keys for editing paths in Photoshop

Keys for using the History palette in Photoshop

How to Design Webpage in Photoshop

Keys for painting objects in Photoshop

Keys for using the Info palette in Photoshop

How to Create Complex Web Graphics in ImageReady

Keys for transforming selections, selection borders, and paths in Photoshop

Keys for using the Layer Comps palette in Photoshop

How to Develop Graphics for Web in Photoshop

Keys for selecting, editing, and navigating through text in Photoshop

Keys for using the Layers palette in Photoshop

How to Save & Export Images

Keys for formatting type in Photoshop

Keys for using the Paths palette in Photoshop

How to Print in Photoshop

Keys for slicing and optimizing in Photoshop

Keys for using the Swatches palette in Photoshop

How to Create Automated Tasks in Photoshop

Keys for using palettes in Photoshop

(F) Function keys in Photoshop