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Chapter 5. Working with Layers > Converting a Background into a Layer

Converting a Background into a Layer

The Background serves a unique function in Photoshop. Since some layout programs do not support Photoshop's multiple layers, and transparency, in a process called flattening, a final image must sometimes be converted into a background. When an image is flattened, all of the documents layers are compressed into a single layer designated as the Background. That means no more layers, no more transparency, and no more control. Backgrounds are a necessary evil because Photoshop does not stand alone, and it's sometimes necessary to move images from Photoshop into other applications. However, there are times you start with an image that's on a background—images from a digital camera, scanned images, or images from a photo CD—and you want to apply transparency, blending modes, or other adjustments that cannot be applied to a background. In that case you will need to convert the Background into a Photoshop traditional layer.


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