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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

Layers Palette in Photoshop

This is the layers palette in Photoshop. With this box you can see and manage your layers. If you do not see it, hit F7 or go to Window > Layers.

  1. Blending Mode: Controls how this layer interacts with the layers behind it. Default is Normal.
  2. Layer Opacity: Controls the total opacity of the layer.
  3. 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.
  4. 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 this example).
  5. Active Layer: The blue highlight indicates that this is the layer being edited. Blending Mode, Opacity, Locks, and Fill (covered later) show and edit the active layer. Note: many commands need an active layer in order to be executed.
  6. Layer Group: Layers can be organized into separate groups to make browsing easier.
  7. Layer Tools: Link Layers allow for you to simultaneously Move and Transform two or more linked layers, Layer Style (fx) will be covered later, Masks may be covered later, Adjustment Layers probably won't be covered later, New Folder allows you to add and new group, New Layer does exactly that, Delete Layer lives up to its name too.