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Working in the Layers palette

From: Photoshop Elements 7 for Windows Essential Training

Video: Working in the Layers palette

The Layers palette contains important features for managing the layers in your file. In this movie I'll show you some essential Layers palette features. First let's talk about selecting a layer, the number one thing that slips people up when they are editing is that they try to do something to the content of a layer without selecting that layer first. So remember to click on the layer that you want to affect before you try to act on it. So if I want to do something to any of the content of the sign layer, I'll first click on that layer here in the Layers palette. And you want to be sure to click on the blank area of the layer, not on the layer name or on the thumbnail here that represents the content of that layer.

Working in the Layers palette

The Layers palette contains important features for managing the layers in your file. In this movie I'll show you some essential Layers palette features. First let's talk about selecting a layer, the number one thing that slips people up when they are editing is that they try to do something to the content of a layer without selecting that layer first. So remember to click on the layer that you want to affect before you try to act on it. So if I want to do something to any of the content of the sign layer, I'll first click on that layer here in the Layers palette. And you want to be sure to click on the blank area of the layer, not on the layer name or on the thumbnail here that represents the content of that layer.

There is one exception to the rule that you manually select layers in the Layers palette and that's when you have the Move tool selected in the Toolbox. If I click on the Move tool and then I click on any content in the image, say this palm tree. Keep your eye on the Layers palette as I do this, the focus of the Layers palette changes to the palm tree layer and if I were to click on this sign, the Sign layer would be selected, that's because there is feature associated with the Move tool in the Options bar, called Auto Select Layer but that's the only tool that has this sort of layer selection feature.

I'm going to click off the Move tool now and let's talk about stacking order. You can change the order in which the layers are stacked in the Layers palette. By just clicking on a layer like the Sign layer here and dragging it down beneath another layer, you will notice when I did that, that the palm tree in the image is now on top of the content of the Sign layer. I'll fix that by click on the Palm Tree layer and dragging it beneath the Sign layer. I release my mouse when my cursor is over the border between layers. As you build compositions in Elements, you are going to want to add layers to those compositions. Here's how you do it. First you select the layer beneath which you want your new layer to come in.

So in this case, I would like to draw an arrow on top of part of the Sign layer, right here. So I'm going to select the Sign layer first and then I'm going to the Create New Layer icon here in the Layers palette, click and that gives me a new layer. I'm a real stickler for naming layers, so that they are easier to find later. So I'm going to double-click the layer name here and type arrow and then I'll click off the Layer name field, then I'm going to come into my image and with my Paint Brush tool selected in the Toolbox as it already is, I'm going to click and drag to draw an arrow. It is not a very straight arrow but it's an arrow.

Another way to add a new layer is to drag an image in from another file, I have another file opened and you can see it down here in the project bin. It's surfer3.psd from the 07_02- layerspalette subfolder in the Chapter 07 exercise files. I'll double-click the surfer3 image in the Project Bin and that opens its document window. I'm going to Move tool in the Toolbox and then I'm going to click on the server and drag into the beach photo until I see a highlight around the beach image and then I'll release my mouse, that brings the surfer in and I can drag him into place and notice that there is a new surfer layer here in the beach image.

Directly above the layer that was selected when I drag the surfer in which was the arrow layer, I'll now come in and minimize the surfer layer and that's how easy it is to begin to make a photo composite. I'll click off the Move tool now and show you one more thing about the Layers palette. Let's say you have a layer that you just don't want anymore, how do you get rid of it? Well I think its time to get rid of my badly drawn arrow, so I'm going to Layers palette and I'm going to select the arrow layer and then I'm just going to drag it to the trash can here at the top of the Layers palette and it's gone and unfortunately, you can not open this trash can. So if you wanted to get it back, you would have to use an Undo command or the Undo History palette. So with those essential layers palette features under your belt, you can start to build yourself some really interesting layered compositions.

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This video is part of

Image for Photoshop Elements 7 for Windows Essential Training
Photoshop Elements 7 for Windows Essential Training

94 video lessons · 9055 viewers

Jan Kabili
Author

 
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  1. 9m 23s
    1. Welcome
      54s
    2. What is Photoshop Elements?
      6m 59s
    3. Using the example files
      1m 30s
  2. 22m 34s
    1. Understanding the Organizer's catalog system
      3m 17s
    2. Getting photos from files and folders
      5m 41s
    3. Getting photos from a digital camera
      7m 27s
    4. Getting photos from offline media
      3m 7s
    5. Getting photos from a scanner
      3m 2s
  3. 35m 0s
    1. Touring the Organizer interface
      5m 30s
    2. Viewing photos
      2m 19s
    3. Selecting photos
      1m 52s
    4. Rotating photos
      2m 7s
    5. Renaming photos
      1m 57s
    6. Fixing photo dates
      1m 56s
    7. Hiding and deleting photos
      4m 50s
    8. Stacking photos
      7m 33s
    9. Moving files
      4m 1s
    10. Backing up
      2m 55s
  4. 31m 50s
    1. Tagging photos
      8m 38s
    2. Finding photos by tags
      3m 57s
    3. Tagging face photos
      3m 1s
    4. Using albums and Smart Albums
      7m 43s
    5. Finding photos with Text Search
      3m 34s
    6. Finding photos from the Find menu
      2m 57s
    7. Finding photos in the Timeline
      2m 0s
  5. 16m 27s
    1. Reviewing photos in Full Screen view
      5m 28s
    2. Comparing photos
      4m 9s
    3. Using Date view
      2m 54s
    4. Using Map view
      3m 56s
  6. 33m 3s
    1. Automatically fixing photos in the Organizer
      7m 58s
    2. Semi-automatically fixing photos with Quick Fix
      10m 39s
    3. Using the Guided Edit mode
      4m 33s
    4. Fixing group shots automatically
      3m 44s
    5. Removing stray content with the Scene Cleaner
      6m 9s
  7. 57m 41s
    1. Touring the Full Edit interface
      4m 46s
    2. Opening a file
      2m 6s
    3. Creating a blank file
      4m 36s
    4. Using tools
      8m 5s
    5. Setting Edit preferences
      4m 31s
    6. Adjusting Color settings
      5m 18s
    7. Using the Undo History command
      3m 48s
    8. Zooming and navigating
      6m 7s
    9. Resizing photos and adjusting resolution
      8m 23s
    10. Enlarging the canvas
      3m 24s
    11. Saving files
      6m 37s
  8. 13m 36s
    1. Understanding layers
      4m 38s
    2. Working in the Layers palette
      4m 4s
    3. Using layer masks
      4m 54s
  9. 17m 50s
    1. Understanding selections
      1m 15s
    2. Manual selection tools
      6m 20s
    3. Automatic selection tools
      6m 25s
    4. Modifying and saving selections
      3m 50s
  10. 40m 53s
    1. Straightening and cropping
      2m 46s
    2. Using the Shadow/Highlight adjustment
      2m 41s
    3. Adjusting with Levels
      5m 0s
    4. Adjusting with Hue/Saturation
      3m 14s
    5. Using Color Curves
      4m 44s
    6. Removing a color cast
      4m 9s
    7. Correcting skin tone
      2m 20s
    8. Reducing digital noise
      2m 47s
    9. Sharpening photos
      6m 27s
    10. Editing raw photos
      6m 45s
  11. 25m 21s
    1. Using the new Smart Brush tool
      5m 50s
    2. Using the Smart Brush Detail tool
      3m 13s
    3. Dodging and burning
      1m 58s
    4. Healing wrinkles and blemishes
      3m 51s
    5. Removing content
      2m 9s
    6. Using the Red Eye tool
      1m 11s
    7. Using the Whiten Teeth tool
      1m 48s
    8. Using the Blue Skies Tool
      1m 28s
    9. Using the Black/White tool
      1m 13s
    10. Converting color to black and white
      2m 40s
  12. 22m 10s
    1. Applying filters
      6m 21s
    2. Applying effects
      3m 53s
    3. Using layer styles
      5m 13s
    4. Using shapes
      4m 49s
    5. Using the Cookie Cutter tool
      1m 54s
  13. 7m 34s
    1. Creating text
      4m 6s
    2. Editing text
      1m 58s
    3. Warping text
      1m 30s
  14. 38m 38s
    1. Making a photo book
      10m 0s
    2. Making a photo collage
      8m 10s
    3. Creating a slideshow
      10m 11s
    4. Making a panorama
      3m 50s
    5. Preparing images for the web
      4m 6s
    6. Using automated actions
      2m 21s
  15. 9m 50s
    1. Using email and Photo Mail
      4m 42s
    2. Printing your photos
      2m 55s
    3. Using Quick Share
      2m 13s
  16. 19m 17s
    1. Signing up for Photoshop.com
      3m 33s
    2. Viewing and sharing your photos online
      6m 0s
    3. Backing up and synchronizing albums online
      6m 28s
    4. Accessing ongoing inspiration from Adobe.com
      3m 16s
  17. 36s
    1. Goodbye
      36s

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