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Adobe Photoshop Basics
Lesson 5: Layers Review

Let's review what we've learned about layers in this lesson. (Continued below...)

Adobe Photoshop Basics
Read This First!
Course Outline
Important Layer Info
Move, Copy, Transform Layers
Advanced Layer Features
• Layers Review

Interactive Classroom
Visit the forum to post your questions and comments.
-Get Help with Lesson 5

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To promote a background to a layer, you can double-click on its name in the layers palette.

This icon allows you to toggle layer visibility on and off. Hidden layers do no print, and they are discarded when an image is flattened. Alt/Option clicking on this icon will hide all layers except the one clicked on.

This icon indicates the active layer. When other layers are linked to the active layer, you can Alt/Option click on this icon to unlink the layers with one click.

This icon indicates a linked layer. The link icon may also appear between a layer thumbnail and the layer mask thumbnail on layers whick include a mask.

This button allows you to add a mask to a layer.

This icon allows you to add a layer. Clicking on the icon creates the new layer above the active layer. If you press the Alt/Option key when clicking this button you have the option of naming the layer as you create it. To duplicate an existing layer, drag it from the layers palette and drop it on this icon. By dragging and dropping a layer onto the icon while holding the Alt/Option key down, you can copy a layer and rename it at the same time.

This icon allows you to delete layers. Simply clicking on the button will prompt you for comfirmation. You can drag and drop a layer from the palette onto this icon to delete without confirmation.

Opacity of 100% is the equivalent of no transparency. Opacity can be controlled numerically by tapping the number keys on the keyboard.

The transparency lock freezes the transparency of the layer on a pixel by pixel basis, enabling you to edit the layer without changing the transparency of individual pixels.

Photoshop 5.x is limited to 100 layers per document. Photoshop 6.0 can have a maximum of 8000 layers but system resources may prevent you from reaching the maximum.

Layers are only preserved in Photoshop's native PSD format. When saving layered files to other formats in Photoshop 5.x, you must use the Save a Copy or Save for Web command. In Photoshop 6.0, you must use the Save As or Sae for Web command. Layered images will automatically be flattened when saving to formats other than PSD.

The keyboard shortcut for the Move tool is V.

You can switch to the move tool temporarily when almost any other tool is active by holding down the Ctrl/Command key.

Holding down the Shift key with the move tool constrains your movements to straight lines or 45 degree angles.

Holding down the Alt/Option key creates a copy of the layer and moves it at the same time.

The shortcut to free transform a layer is Ctrl-T/Command-T.

Layer selection shortcuts:

  • Alt right click/Control Option click selects the top-most layer under the cursor
  • Holding Alt/Option and hitting the left and right [bracket] keys allows you to cycle through the layers. The left bracket key [ moves down through the layers, and the right bracket key ] moves up.
  • Alt/Option Shift [ selects the bottom layer.
  • Alt/Option Shift ] selects the top layer.
  • Change layers via a pop-up menu of layer names by right/control clicking in the document.

To copy a layer from one image to another ans have it centered, hold down the Shift key as you drag and drop with the move tool.

In the New File, Image Size, and Canvas Size dialog boxes, you can automatically fill in the dimensions from any open window by choosing the window from the Window menu while the dialog box is open.

You can copy several layers to another document at once by linking the layers and dragging from the layers palette to another document window.

The keyboard shortcut to merge linked layers is Ctrl/Command E.

Ctrl-G/Command-G makes a clipping group from linked layers. You can also Alt/Option click on the border between two layers in the layers palette to make a clipping group.

Next > Working With Text

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