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Chapter Twelve. Layers > Creating Layers

Creating Layers

Q1:How do I create a new layer?
A1: If you want a new blank layer you can:
  • Click on the Create a New Layer icon at the bottom of the Layers palette.

  • Go to the Layer menu and choose New>Layer.

  • Go to the Layers palette's flyout menu and choose New Layer.

  • Press Command-Shift-N (PC: Control-Shift-N) to create a new layer you want to name.

  • Press Command-Option-Shift-N (PC: Control-Alt-Shift-N) to create a new layer without the naming dialog.

Q2:When should I create a new layer? I keep ending up with “extra” blank layers and I'm not sure why. When do I need to add a blank layer?
A2: Let's put it this way—here's when you do not need to add a new layer first:
  1. When you use the Type tool (T).

  2. When you copy-and-paste (from the Edit menu).

  3. When you drag-and-drop from another image.

  4. When you use Layer>New>Layer Via Copy (or press Command-J [PC: Control-J]).

In each of these cases a new layer is automatically created. That's probably why you are getting those extra layers—you are adding a new layer when a new layer is unnecessary, as it's already added for you.

Q3:How do I create a Background layer? I previously deleted my Background layer and now I want one. How do I create a Background layer just like the “automatic” one?

A3: Go to the Layer menu and choose New>Background From Layer.
Q4:Can I create a new layer below the current layer instead of above it?
A4: Hold down Command (PC: Control) as you click on the Create a New Layer icon at the bottom of the Layers palette and the new layer will be created below the current layer. (Note: You cannot add a new layer below the Background layer.)
Q5:Why can't I see a new layer? I just added a new layer and filled it with a color, but nothing is visible on my image, even though I can see it in my Layers palette. What gives?
A5: There are a couple of possibilities: Check the blend mode of the layer to make sure it is set to Normal. Also ensure it isn't hidden below another layer in the layer stack. If it still doesn't show up, then perhaps you have a layer clipping mask and this new layer was added to the masking group; therefore, isn't visible in the image window. To fix this, move the layer out of the clipping group or choose Layer>Release Clipping Mask.
Q6:Is it possible to use Illustrator layers in Photoshop?
A6: In Illustrator, go to File>Export and save as a Photoshop document. In the Photoshop Export Options dialog, choose the appropriate Color Model and Resolution, and then ensure Write Layers is selected. When you open the PSD file in Photoshop, the document will contain the layers you created in Illustrator.


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