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Merging Layers

Once you begin to create projects of even moderate complexity, the number of layers in your project can add up fairly quickly. While Photoshop Elements lets you create an almost unlimited number of layers, there are a couple of reasons why you may want to consolidate some or all of them into a single layer (Figure 5.24). For one thing, it’s just good housekeeping. It doesn’t take long before the Layers palette begins to fill up, and you find yourself constantly scrolling up and down in search of a particular object or text layer. And every layer you add drains a little more from your system’s memory. Continue to add layers, and depending on available memory, you may notice a decrease in your computer’s performance.

Figure 5.24. This photo collage (above left) was originally composed of three separate folk instrument layers, plus two background layers (lower left). To simplify the file, the three instrument layers were merged into a single layer (lower right). The finished collage will look the same, but because it’s composed of fewer layers, its file size will be significantly smaller.



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