Photoshop: Tricks – Layers Dialog Box

Sometimes when I’m retouching a face, or retouching an image requiring many steps that will be put on separate layers, there are two easy tricks I use to simplify how the layers look visually.  One is color coding the layers, the other is grouping layers together so you can collapse the selected layers and not be viewing them all the time.  I hate scrolling through multiple layers and this saves and simplifies the process.

Color Coding Different Layers

Right-click on the selected layer in the Layers Dialog Box.  Select the Layer Properties option at the top of the menu.  You can rename the layer here if you want as well.  At the Color: option, click on the down-arrow and select a color to represent this layer.

Layer Properties Dialog Box

The color will be displayed on the left side of the layer as it is displayed in the Layer Dialog Box.  If you have two or more layers that you are finished with for the time being, you can create a Layer Group and collapse the layers.

Creating a Layer Group

Select the layers you want to collapse into a group.  In my example I’m collapsing the two layers that have been coded red.  Select the layers, then click on the Create a new Group Icon, circled in red, at the bottom of the Layers Dialog Box.  This puts the two chosen layers into a new group, called Group 1.

The Layers Dialog Box after color coding and then creating a new layer group.

You can then collapse the layers in a group by clicking on the down arrow next to the Group Name.  The arrow will turn to the right and the layers will be hidden.

This shows the Group 1 layers collapsed.

These two tricks make working in the Layers Dialog Box much simpler, and visually much clearer when you have multiple layers open at one time.

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About brentrpaull

Professional Photographer
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