New user? Subscribe!  ·  Already a subscriber? .

Quick Layer Tips

By Mike Rodriguez  ·  April 14th, 2011

In this short video, Mike Rodriguez shares a number of tips for working with layers, including unlocking layers, creating new layers underneath another layer, filling a layer with the foreground or background colors and more.

If you want more layer tips, check out our Layers tag.

Problems viewing this video? Try opening it in a new window.

Downloads

Download this movie

9 Replies to Quick Layer Tips:

  1. Bayla

    April 14, 2011 at 12:37 pm

    Wow, just when I thought there were no tips left to learn, up you pop with a new tip – I never knew you could drag the lock icon to the trash can to unlock the layer! Marginally quicker than double clicking on the layer and choosing OK when the dialog box pops up. Thanks!

    • Mike

      April 14, 2011 at 2:41 pm

      I think that’s a cool one, too. And yes, a little quicker than double-clicking the background. But, I still think my favorite is to hold down Alt/Option and double-click the background. Unlike just double-clicking the BG, holding down alt/option bypasses the dialog box altogether.

  2. Kevin

    April 15, 2011 at 7:08 pm

    By using the layer (0) as your first layer you will make your file size smaller, always useful. Between the keyboard short cuts, of option double click, lock drag to trash, command double click, to give you Layer (0) or command J which gives you layer 1, I would say the one with the most versatility is the command double click. This opens a dialogue box where you can rename the layer, make a mask, change the mode, and adjust the opacity all in the same place.
    If you are just using one layer, then command J is the way to go, as that duplicates the background layer, and is very quick. Follow that with a command L to adjust lighting, and you could be done.

    • Irene

      July 15, 2011 at 7:48 pm

      Thanks for the tips. I’ll use them.

  3. Alex

    April 22, 2011 at 1:15 pm

    Great tips. I guess that I should know this already but you didn’t tell us how to get the transparent area around the picture. Thanks.

    • Mike

      April 25, 2011 at 7:30 am

      Hi Alex-

      There are several ways you can do this. One quick, simple way is, after you convert the background layer to a normal layer, press Ctrl (Mac: Command)-T, which brings up Free Transform, hold down Alt (or Option on Mac), click and hold on one of the corner handles and scale the image down. The image will get smaller and the extra area should be transparent.

      Maybe a future quick tip video on different ways to do that would be good as well! :)

      Thanks for the question,
      Mike

      • Alex

        May 29, 2011 at 7:12 am

        Thanks Mike,
        It worked great. Sorry I didn’t get back to you sooner.
        Alex

  4. Alfred

    February 6, 2012 at 3:15 pm

    Hi Mike, …that was short and sweet and very informative, thank you “ben”

  5. Verneitta

    June 1, 2012 at 2:22 pm

    Thank you so much for this tip.

Tell us what you think.

You must be to post a comment.

Learn Elements Today!

Learn Elements Today DVD boxIf you’re looking for the quickest way to get up to speed with Adobe Photoshop Elements 13 (or earlier versions, both Windows and Mac), check out our "Learn Elements Today" training course DVD. Our gurus will help you use Elements to take your photos from good to Great!

Who Are We?

We are Photo One Media, a small company based in lovely Portland, Oregon. Our passion is helping people create, enhance, and share photos; designing cards, calendars, books and scrapbooks; and getting the most out of your digital camera.

Photo Elements Techniques is a magazine and website devoted to helping folks get the most out of Adobe Photoshop Elements. Subscribers get six feature-packed issues per year, with weekly tutorial videos and more on this site. If you would like to see the magazine for yourself, you can get two free sample issues.

Follow us!

Follow us on Twitter Find us on Facebook