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Photoshop Elements 2018 Layers Panel


In this tutorial, we will learn how to use the Layers panel in Adobe Photoshop Elements. The Layers panel is one of the most important panels in PSE. It allows you to control and organize the design elements in your project.

The default Image layer is pixel-based, which means the content on the layer, whether a color, image or transparent, are made up of pixels. But PSE also has a few other types of layers, including the Fill, Adjustment, Type and Shape layers. Most of the time, you will be working with the Image and Type layers.




When you first open the PSE Photo Editor, you will see the Quick Mode interface (see screenshot). We will be working in the Expert Mode (see screenshot), so click on the Expert tab at the top of the window.

Let's open the Layers panel by clicking the Layers icon at the bottom of the window (see screenshot). This will give us an empty Layers panel.

If we click File - New - Blank File from the top menu, we will start a new empty image document, with a default empty bottom layer that will be named Layer 1 (see screenshot). If we click File - Open to open an existing image file, such as a photo, the bottom layer, named Background, will contain the photo and locked by default (see screenshot).

Let's take a look at the Layers panel. We will open an image that I used to post about my review of Adobe Spark on Instagram. As you can see (see screenshot), the jpg image opened with just the image in the Background layer.

At the top of the Layers panel are several icons. (see screenshot)

  • Create New Layer
  • Create New Group
  • Fill or Adjustment Layer
  • Add Layer Mask
  • Blending Modes
  • Lock All Pixels on Layer
  • Lock Transparent Pixels on Layer
  • More Menu Icon
  • Delete Layer
  • Opacity Controls

Each layer has several icons. (see screenshot)

  • Show/Hide Layer
  • Link Layers
  • Preview Thumbnail
  • Layer Name
  • Lock Layer
  • Styles Applied

Some of the tasks that you can do in the Layers panel are the following.

  • Add New Layer
  • Delete Layer
  • Rename Layer
  • Duplicate Layer
  • Color Code Layers
  • Apply a Style or Blend Mode
  • New Layer from Selection
  • New Layer from Background Layer
  • Make a Layer the Background Layer
  • New Layer Group
  • New Group from Selected Layers
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Content copyright © 2015 by Diane Cipollo. All rights reserved.
This content was written by Diane Cipollo. If you wish to use this content in any manner, you need written permission. Contact Diane Cipollo for details.

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