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Chapter 14. Working with Layers and Layer Styles > Photoshop's Specialty Layers

Photoshop's Specialty Layers

In addition to layers that contain your artwork's pixels, Photoshop uses a number of other types of layers. Adjustment and fill layers change the appearance of regular layers below without actually changing their pixels. Type layers contain any text you add to an image. As long as the type layer is not converted to a regular layer (using the Layer, Rasterize, Type command), the text remains editable and vector-based for sharp output to PostScript devices. Shape layers, which simulate vector objects, are filled with a color, pattern, or gradient and selectively exposed by using one or more vector paths.

Adjustment and Fill Layers

Using fill and adjustment layers over a regular layer enables you to create effects and color corrections nondestructively—no pixels are permanently changed. Fill layers can be added to create overall tonal shifting and colorization, patterns, and effects. Adjustment layers are used in place of the Edit, Adjustment commands (which make permanent changes to the image). They affect all the layers beneath, not just the adjoining layer, so more layers can be affected globally by the placement of your adjustment layer. You can restrict the effect of an adjustment layer to the one layer immediately below by (Option-clicking) [Alt+clicking] on the line between the layer and the adjustment layer in the Layers palette.


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