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Contents

Introduction

After this video you’ll know how to work with Photoshop layers. You’ll know the tricks professionals use to work fast and smart with layers.

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Video transcript

In this video we’re going to look at some of the essential shortcuts you need in terms of dealing with layers.  Now with layer panels you see down here - working on a final image here, you can see the layers have been built up over time, and there are hundreds of them now, so it’s not really practical to go there and try to remember the names of them all, so you know which layer you are working on.  So you need a trick.  The best one, and one that I use constantly is -  make sure you are on the move tool,  and make sure that your move tool is set to layer.  Now what will happen is - You’re going to learn a little shortcut. We’re on some random layer at the moment.  I want to click the word that says “more”.

 

Now I’m going to zoom a little bit, so select  more.  What I need to do is hold down the command key on a Mac or the control key on a PC.   And what you’ll notice is - you can see up in the top app bar, it changes this thing called auto-select, it just kind of toggles on it while you need it. So if I hold down the command key and I click the word “more”  you can see in my layers panel it has jumped to the word More, and I can move this around.   Then say I want to move the green box as well,  I’ll hold down my command key, and a little auto-select toggle comes on.  I click on this, and even though it’s got some random name called rectangle 2,  I can still move it around.  So I can click more and move him across, hold down “Let’s make awesome”  and it’s just a really easy way to pick the layers and move them around, and really essential  when you are working on such a layer heavy document.

 

  I’m going to go to edit, step backwards, edit step backwards, edit step backwards.  Another useful shortcut is if you’ve got a really complex set of layers, and they are all on top of each other, and it’s really hard to select the one you want, what you can do is - let’s pretend for a second - that see this image in the background here I want to select, say using this little area here, but I can’t because there is a black box in front of it.  Okay,  so if I use my command click trick, it’s going to click this rectangle every time. Of course I could pick down here, but that ruins my example.  What I can do is, if I right click, and if you’re on a mac, and you don’t have a right click, use your control click, but if you are on a PC it’s easy to right click, and you’ll notice that it picks everything in my little layer order here, so that’s the one,  that’s the black rectangle. Underneath it though is something called layer 2, and that is my little image.

 

 Another useful shortcut you are going to need is, say if you are using my template, and you’re using the column grids, you need to be able to go to view, show > guides. And these can be really great when you are lining things up, but a real pain when you are trying to look at things visually, because it kind of ruins the look of everything with the lines everywhere.   So the shortcut for this is, if you’re on a mac,  it’s command and use the colon key on your keyboard. If you are on a PC it’s control and colon and you toggle these on and off.  I do this quite a bit when I’m working with these grids.  Turn it on to line things up, and turn it off when I’m trying to look at things, and see how they line up.