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Tips For Working With Layers In Photoshop CS2
There's lots of brand new stuff in Photoshop CS2 and the following tips and tricks are just for this version of Photoshop. We'll concentrate in this batch of tips on some changes that are making some people happy, and some people not so happy and that's the brand new way that Photoshop layers work.
The one thing that will impact migrating users the most is the way that Photoshop now selects content on a layer, as well as how Photoshop links your layers. Believe me, if you're not prepared for this and are working on deadline and just can't handle searching the help files, you will scream long and hard. Well, I know I certainly did.
How To Select Content In A Layer In Photoshop CS2
In previous versions, to select the content of a layer you would use the Control key (MAC: Command) and click on the name of the layer. In CS2 this no longer works. I repeat this no longer works!
In CS2 you still hold down the Control key (MAC: Command) but now you have to click on the layer's thumbnail (next to the eyeball icon) to select the content. You'll get used to it quickly, but it's a little counter-intuitive and frustrating at first as most Photoshop brains will resist any attempts at being re-wired!
How To Select Multiple Layers In Photoshop CS2
This is a new improvement that will make selecting multiple layers a whole lot easier. Simply hold down the Shift Key and click on a layer in the layers palette, then while you continue holding the Shift Key just click on another layer. All the layers that are inbetween the two will now be selected, either from top to bottom, or from bottom to top.
How To Add Or Remove Layers From A Multiple Selection
To add or remove layers from a multiple selection, hold down the Control Key (MAC: Command) and click on the layers you want to add or remove. This is a very simple and very efficient new way of doing things.
No More Link Column
The link column in the Layers palette is gone. To link layers together in CS2 you select each layer and then press the Link Layers icon (the little chain) at the bottom of the Layers palette.
Activating All Layers Or Similar Layers
To activate all the layers in your document go Select> All Layers. Or you can also just select layers that are of a similar kind, such as shape layers or adjustment layers. To do this simply Right Click (MAC: Control Click) on a layer and from the contextual menu choose Select Similar Layers.
Locking Multiple Layers
The lock icon at the bottom of the layers palette dims when multiple layers are selected, so if you want to lock a group of selected layers you must use the menu and choose Layer> Lock Layers. This is also available from the layers palette flyout menu.
Unlocking Multiple Layers
If you have multiple layers that are locked and you wish to unlock all of them at once, first target each layer, then choose Layer> Lock Layers. A dialog will appear. Uncheck the "all" checkbox and all the targeted layers that were currently locked will become unlocked.
New Layer Thumbnail Options - Small, Medium, Large, or None
In CS2 if you Right-click (MAC: Control-click) on a layer thumbnail you'll get a contextual menu with an option to make your thumbnails bigger or smaller. You can also access these options by choosing Palette Options from the layers palette flyout menu.
Layer Sets Are Now Called Layer Groups
In Photoshop CS2 Layers Sets are now called Layer Groups. Layer Groups are great for managing and organizing your layers, and you can also nest one Layer Group inside another Layer Group.
How To Create Layer Groups
To create a Layer Group you first select the layers you want to include, then choose Layer> Group Layers, and the selected layers will automatically be placed in a newly created folder. For a new Layer Group folder with no selected layers, click the New Group Button (the folder icon) at the bottom of the Layers Palette.
To Jump From Layer To Layer
Use these keyboard shortcuts to jump from one layer to another:
Select Next Layer Above: ALT + ]
Select Next Layer Below: Down ALT + [
Select Top Layer: ALT + . (period)
Select Bottom Layer: ALT + , (comma)
(MAC: Use Alt/Option key instead of ALT)
Introduction To Layers - Free Sample Chapter
One of my favorite training books is Adobe Photoshop Studio Techniques by Ben Willmore. The book is a comprehensive guide to not just learning Photoshop techniques but in helping you understand and grasp concepts. It's also written in an elegant, clear style that makes learning enjoyable. The reason I mention it is because I discovered a fantastic sample chapter that Peachpit Press has made available online. The sample chapter How Layers Work is a complete overview of layers and walks you through creating and manipulating layers in Photoshop. From the opening section:
- "At first glance, layers might seem complex, but the idea behind them is rather simple. You isolate different parts of your image onto independent layers. These layers act as if they are separate documents stacked one on top of the other. By putting each image on its own layer, you can freely change your document's look and layout without committing to the changes. If you paint, apply a filter, or make an adjustment, it affects only the layer on which you're working. If you get into a snarl over a particularly troublesome layer, you can throw it away and start over. The rest of your document will remain untouched.
"You can make the layers relate to each other in interesting ways, such as by poking holes in them to reveal an underlying image. I'll show you some great techniques using this concept in Chapter 13, 'Enhancement,' and Chapter 15 'Collage.'
"But first, you need to pick up on the basics the foundations of layers. If you've used layers for a while, you might find some of this chapter a bit too basic. On the other hand, you might find some juicy new tidbits."
So have a look at this, it's extensive, and will give you a good working knowledge of layers.
Layers, Layers And More Layers
There's always more to learn with Photoshop, and I'll be adding to this page as I discover new layer tricks, so make sure to check back soon!
Working With Type In Photoshop CS2
Learn how to change the size of font previews, work with the bounding box, and use smart guides to align type layers in Photoshop CS2.
Tips And Tricks For Beginners
These Photoshop beginner tips and tricks address some of the most common things you'll do in Photoshop, and learning them will save you lots of time down the road.
Photoshop Keyboard Shortcuts
Learn how to edit and create sets of keyboard shortcuts in Photoshop CS and CS2. Also includes links to free keyboard shortcuts PDFs.
Working With Photoshop Scripts
This tutorial shows you how to install and work with Photoshop Scripts, and includes links to free Photoshop Scripts that you can download.
The Photoshop Blog offers the latest Photoshop and Digital Photography news and software updates, tips and tutorials, and random thoughts from graphic artist, digital photographer and Photoshop expert Jennifer Apple.
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Photoshop CS5 Tutorials & CS5 Resources
See our Photoshop CS5 Resource Center for Free Photoshop CS5 Tutorials, and the Free Photoshop CS5 Trial Download. See our Photoshop CS4 Resource Center for Free Photoshop CS4 Tutorials.
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Skin Retouching Tips In Photoshop CS4
Transforming Smart Objects In Photoshop CS4
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Adjusting Exposure in Adobe Camera Raw CS3
Photoshop CS3 Tutorial High Dynamic Range
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