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Chapter Twelve. Layers > Working with Layers

Working with Layers

Q1:How do I align layers with one another? I have some layers that I need to line up. Suggestions?

A1: In the Layers palette, select the layers you'd like to align. With the Move tool (V) active, use the Align icons in the Options Bar.
Q2:How do I change the name of a layer (rename it)?
A2: Double-click on the layer's name in the Layers palette, which will highlight the name, and then type a new name.
Q3:Is it possible to make a new document from a layer?

A3: Yes, by using the Duplicate Layer command under the Layer menu and making the destination “new” rather than the same document by choosing New from the Document pop-up menu.
Q4:Is there a quick way to delete a layer? Quicker than dragging the layer to the Trash icon?
A4: Click on the layer, then Option-click (PC: Alt-click) on the Trash icon at the bottom of the Layers palette. This will delete the layer without a warning dialog popping up.
Q5:How do I delete multiple layers?
A5: Select the layers (by either Shift-clicking on them or Command-clicking [PC: Control-clicking]), and then click on the Trash icon at the bottom of the Layers palette. To avoid the warning, hold down Option (PC: Alt) as you click on the Trash icon.
Q6:Why can't I paint on a layer?
A6: Be sure that Lock Transparent Pixels isn't checked. If it is, you cannot add paint to any transparent areas of a layer, only to the pixels that are already on the layer. Turn that option off, and you should be able to add “new” paint. If the Lock function is not selected and you still can't paint, check to see if you have a selection somewhere, and/or check the Options Bar of the painting tool to ensure its settings are appropriate. Also remember that you cannot paint on a Type layer.
Q7:How do I put a photo inside type?
A7: Position the photo on a separate layer above the Type layer in the Layers palette. With the photo layer active, choose Create Clipping Mask from the Layer menu. Or, position your mouse on the line between the two layers, hold down Option (PC: Alt), and click when your cursor changes into a double circle. Now the photo layer will only be visible within the letters of the Type layer.
Q8:How do I resize multiple layers at the same time? Is there a way to take multiple, separate layers and scale them all together at once?
A8: Yes, just select the layers (by Shift-clicking or Command-clicking [PC: Control-clicking] on them), and then use Free Transform (Command-T [PC: Control-T]).
Q9:Is it possible to scale a layer? I dragged-and-dropped a selection into a new document. Can I scale it larger without losing quality?
A9: Whenever you scale pixels larger than they were (by using any Transform function under the Edit menu), there will always be some loss in quality. You will have to evaluate whether that difference is acceptable. For example, if the layer is going to have a low opacity or a blending mode applied, perhaps it is not that important. But if you want to keep exactly the same quality as the smaller size, that will not happen.
Q10:How do I delete the same area on multiple layers?
A10: Use a selection tool to select the area you want to delete, then select (activate) the first layer and press Delete (PC: Backspace). Don't deselect, but activate the next layer in the layer stack and press Delete (PC: Backspace) again. Repeat this until you've deleted the selection on all the layers you want, and then deselect (Command-D [PC: Control-D]).
Q11:How do I fill the same area on multiple layers?
A11: Use a selection tool to select the area you want to fill, choose your Foreground color, then select (activate) the first layer and press Option-Delete (PC: Alt-Backspace) to fill it with that color. Don't deselect, but activate the next layer and again press Option-Delete (PC: Alt-Backspace). Repeat this until you've filled the selection on all the layers you want, and then deselect (Command-D [PC: Control-D]).


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