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Adobe Photoshop CS3

Layer Basics

Photoshop's layers can be thought of as separate films, much like transparency sheets. Each layer contains its own discrete contents. Individual layers contain objects which together create your composite image. The following document will introduce some of the basic concepts related to layers. For more information about layers, refer to Working with Layers or Advanced Layer Options.

Return to TopActive Layer Tips

When you select a layer in the Layers palette, that layer is active. The following tips refer to active layers:

Return to TopHiding/Displaying the Layers Palette

The Layers palette is your essential tool for working with layers. It contains a list of all the layers, starting with the topmost layer. To the left of the name is a thumbnail of the contents of each layer. You can use the Layers palette to perform many tasks (e.g., create, delete, hide, merge, and flatten layers).

Layers palette

  1. From the Window menu, select Layers
    This action toggles the feature on and off.
    NOTE: A check mark will appear in front of Layers when the Layers palette is displayed.

Return to TopHiding/Displaying Layers

You may find it useful to hide layers while working in Photoshop. For example, when merging layers, you can hide some layers so that they will not be merged. Visible layers have a VISIBILITY iconVisibility Iconnext to them; hidden layers do not.

  1. On the Layers palette, for the layer(s) you wish to hide, click the VISIBILITY iconVisibility icon
    HINT: To hide several layers at once, click and drag within the Visibility column. This action toggles the layer between hidden and displayed.
    Layers palette (visibility annotated)
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