12 tips to speed up your Layers process in Photoshop


Tip 1 - Set you letter opacity with your keyboard

To set your selected layer's opacity to 100% just hit "0".

To set you selected layer's opacity to 0% just hit "1".


Tip 2 - Unlock the background layer

By default, the Background Layer of any photo is locked. The quickest way to unlock it is from inside the Layers palette itself. Drag the lock icon to its right and drop it in the Trash icon and the Background layer will be automatically converted to a regular layer.


Tip 3 - Rename a layer

It is extremely useful to rename a layer in Ps so that when you open your file 3 months back and try to figure out what you did. To rename a layer just double click on the current title.


Tip 4 - Create  a layer above or below the current layer

To create a new layer above the current layer click the Add New Layer icon at the bottom of the Layer panel. To add a new layer directly below the current layer Ctrl or Command Click on the same icon. Both add a layer without displaying the Layer dialog. 


Tip 5 - Not sure which font to use? Try this - Courtesy of Scott Kelby

Handy for finding the perfect font because it makes the process totally visual. Highlight your type (mini-tip: double-click directly on the "T" thumbnail in the Layers panel to instantly select all the type on that layer), then take your cursor and click once directly inside the Font field up in Photoshop's Options Bar (as seen below). Now just use the Up/Down arrow keys on your keyboard to see your type change live as you move through your font list. When you see the one that looks good to you, you're set! 

Tip 6 - Create a Stamp Visible

Sometimes you need to merge all the layers in the document to a single new layer but you want to maintain all the work done below it intact. To do that, click the top layer and hit Ctrl + Shift + Alt + E (Command + Option + Shift + E on the Mac). 


Tip 7 - Filling a layer with the foreground or background color

To fill a layer or a selection with the foreground color hit Alt + Backspace (Option + Delete on the Mac).

To fill a layer or a selection with the background color hit Control + Backspace (Command + Delete on the Mac).


Tip 8 - Reduce layer opacity with a slider

Move your mouse pointer at the name of the "Opacity:" caption. When you do, the mouse pointer changes to a hand with a pointing finger. Click and drag the mouse to adjust the opacity value.


Tip 9 - Copy layer style the quick and dirty way!

Select the layer you want to copy style from then hold down the Alt key and click on the ‘fx’ icon on the bottom of the layer panel and drag the ‘fx’ icon to the layer you want to apply the same style to. Quick and dirty!


Tip 10 - Select a layer automatically from the canvas

If you are not used to select the desired layer from the layers panel, you’ll love this tip.

You have to be on the Move Tool to see a checkbox in the control panel (below the main menu). called Auto Select. Turn this option on and you will be able to click anywhere in your canvas to automatically select the layer underneath your cursor. This setting is especially handy if you are working with text or photo collage.

Tip 11 - Select a layer from another layer (sounds confusing!)

This tip is handy when you have too many layers on top of each others in your document. Make sure the Move Tool is the active tool. Hover over the area of your document that has the desired layer. Right-click to trigger a context sensitive menu showing you all the layers underneath your cursor. Select the desired layer.

Tip 12 - Use layer masks to quickly hide the background 

Imagine you have a picture of a dog you want to change the cluttery background of and you want to cut out only the dog for that matter. Start by using the Magic Wand tool to select the background. Normally by pressing the Delete key we would delete the background but we want a less destructive way instead. So we will use Layer Masks. 

Now, hit the ctrl + shift + I (cmd + shift + I on the Mac) to invert the selection. With the dog now selected, add a mask using the Add Mask button. Photoshop will automatically hide what is not selected. Remember: black hides and white reveals.

Do you think I missed something? If you do please comment below...