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Photoshop is the leading digital image editing application. When it comes to working on descriptions or making banners, this is the ideal program to use. This article briefly goes over some of it's main functions.


Example of how layers work. Final Image

One powerful function of Photoshop is its ability to use layers. Layers are discrete sub-images within a project that overlap each other providing a greater degree of complexity, depth, and flexibility.

Using Layers

To the left is the layers palette inside of Photoshop. With it, you can see and manage your layers. If you do not see it, hit F7 or go to Window > Layers. It contains these 7 basic functions:

Layers Palette in Photoshop
Blending Mode 
Controls how this layer interacts with the layers behind it. Default is Normal.
Layer Opacity 
Controls the total opacity of the layer.
Lock Layer Parts 
Clicking one the options toggles a lock for transparent pixels, image pixels, position, or all. Locked part of layers cannot be edited.
Layer Visibility 
Clicking a layer in this column toggles its visibility. When a layer is invisible, it is not seen on the canvas and cannot be edited. Useful when working on layers below it, or hiding a helper layer (as in the example to the left).
Active Layer 
The blue highlight indicates that this is the layer being edited. Blending Mode, Opacity, Locks, and Fill show and edit the active layer. Many commands need an active layer in order to be executed.
Layer Group 
Layers can be organized into separate groups to make browsing easier.
Layer Tools 
Link Layers allow for you to simultaneously move and transform two or more linked layers. Layer Style (fx) is for adding effects. Masks are for covering and revealing parts of another layer. Adjustment Layers are for changing the qualities of the layer of it's effecting (For example changing the color tones and levels). New Folder allows you to add and new layer group. New Layer creates a new layer. Delete Layer deletes the active layer.