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Layers 101: Understanding Elements’ Foundation

By Mike Rodriguez  ·  Issue: May/June 2009 (V6N3)

The foundation of Photoshop Elements is the layer. So many projects, techniques, tips and tricks require–or are made easier with–layers, so a good grasp of what they are and how they work is vital for taking that next leap in your Elements education.


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22 Replies to Layers 101: Understanding Elements’ Foundation:

  1. R. H. Hollenbeck

    April 8, 2010 at 11:51 am

    Look’en gud!

    It’ll take a bit of getting used to (Old dog – new tricks syndrome) but on first blush I think it’s GREAT!

    Keep at it and perhaps one day soon, this old dog will finally catch on to PSE in all its wonderful manifestations, and at any rate, thanks for keeping PSE alive!

    Dick Hollenbeck

    • J. Daniel

      April 3, 2011 at 2:52 pm

      Would be nice (and logical) to show the novice HOW to get into the ‘Layers Palette’ as I cannot find how to expand my palette (Elements 8 for Mac) to open Text Layer, Shape Layer etc.

  2. Rudy

    April 24, 2010 at 12:33 pm

    I have to agree with D.H., I was overwhelmed with using PSE 4 when it first came out, I was using a Point n Shoot. I am now using a Nikon and I am trying to understand PSE 8. I am really looking into getting the hang of it. This is a loaded application with many great tools.

  3. Sandra

    November 4, 2010 at 4:25 am

    Reading your article made everything fall into place. I finally understand layers and their uses. I was really thrilled when I read about the selective coloring and making text out of a photo and how easy it is w/layers. I’d love to know how to do what you did to the picture of the lighthouse in your article. Which one of my magazines is that in? Gracias!

  4. Timothy

    December 7, 2010 at 5:53 pm

    VERY informative article!

  5. Ruby

    January 17, 2011 at 7:00 am

    Great Article. I having been using Photoshop for sometime now, but it’s always interesting to get a quick brush up on some techniques and learn some new ones!

  6. Erik G

    June 28, 2011 at 3:35 am

    I have now tried two times to download the pdf. Both times I got a message that the file was damaged and could not be opened.

    It may be because I am in my summerhouse with a very weak internet connection, but this is the first time I’ve had that kind of trouble.

    Kind regards

    Erik G. Geleff

  7. Erik G

    July 2, 2011 at 10:39 am

    Thanks – now (at home from the summerhouse) I was able to download the pdf.

    And it’s really good. Shows me all ( hope) I’ll need to see about layers.

    Kind regards

    Erik G. Geleff

  8. joyce

    July 29, 2011 at 9:06 am

    I have “jumped” from elements 4 to 9 and I am totally lost, everything is so different. Where can I go for help with 9.

  9. thomas

    July 29, 2011 at 8:34 pm

    Another good lesson on Elements


  10. Bonnie

    August 1, 2011 at 12:31 am

    I just finished all the lessons on the Learn Elements Today iPad application. It’s just THE best and I gave it a five-star rating on iTunes. With the Learn Elements App on my iPad I could easily switch back and forth between the iPad and the computer and practice what was being demonstrated in the video. Very well organized.

  11. Marsha

    August 21, 2011 at 11:18 am

    I was not able to download the complete file–I got a message there was an error downloading pdf. Also, I have also had trouble downloading videos from this website. any help you can furnish will be most appreciated. Marsha Gibson.

    • George

      December 31, 2011 at 1:08 am

      I have the latest version of Adobe Reader and a fast connection, but I still need to download some of the PDFS twice.

      Ditto for the videos.

      But they are worth waiting for :)

  12. walter

    September 13, 2011 at 6:44 pm

    i am on my second year pse and am still learning new tricks every day I would like to know if there is a way to list the contents of the videos of 3,4, and 5. When I want to reveiw a procedure I have scroll through the video until i find the correct article.

  13. Elisabeth

    January 23, 2012 at 8:06 pm

    I just watched the first two tutorials.Wonderful,easy to comprehend.
    I think I will benefit from the Tutorials and the Magazine greatly.The frustration level will come down also.
    Thank you for a great job.


  14. Dean

    January 24, 2012 at 2:39 pm

    Well written. I’ve tried for months to under stand the layer process and in a few moments Mike Rodriquez removed the mystic.
    Many thanks Mike.

    • Mike

      February 17, 2012 at 2:31 pm

      Glad it was helpful, Dean. Thanks for the kid words.

  15. Latonia

    February 8, 2012 at 2:13 pm

    I can’t download any pdf files. Can’t watch the videos.

    • Mike

      February 17, 2012 at 2:32 pm

      Send an email to customer support, or give ’em a call, and they should be able to help you figure out what’s going on.

  16. Koen

    November 2, 2012 at 2:24 pm

    Can’t download. Wrong type says Adobe Reader X?!

  17. Koen

    November 2, 2012 at 2:27 pm

    OK. I got the download.

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