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Chapter 3. Layers Primer > Background Image

Background Image

If your document doesn't have a background (because you accidentally deleted or renamed the background), you can convert one of the existing layers into a background by choosing Layer > New > Background from Layer. Just changing the layer's name back to “Background” will not do the job.

To quickly turn off all the eyeballs in the Layers palette and view only the layer you're interested in, simply Option-click (Mac) or Alt-click (Windows) one of the eyeball icons. Option or Alt-clicking a second time will bring those same layers back into view. If you'd rather make all the layers visible, Control-click (Mac) or right-click (Windows) on the eyeball icon and choose Show/Hide All Other Layers.

You can change the checkerboard's appearance by choosing Edit > Preferences > Transparency & Gamut. You can even change it to solid white by changing the Grid Size setting to None.


The Background image in Photoshop (which some people refer to as the Background layer) is a bit different than the other layers that make up your image. If you liken the layers to the individual pages in a pad of tracing paper, you could think of the pad's cardboard backing as the Background image. It might be the same size and it relates to the other pages in the pad, but it has some qualities that make it quite different.


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