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In Photoshop CS5 Essential Training, author Michael Ninness demonstrates how to produce the highest quality images with fantastic detail in the shortest amount of time, using a combination of Photoshop CS5, Adobe Bridge, and Camera Raw. This course shows the most efficient ways to perform common editing tasks, including noise reduction, shadow and highlight detail recovery, retouching, and combining multiple images. Along the way, Michael shares the secrets of non-destructive editing, utilizing and mastering Adobe Bridge, Camera Raw, layers, adjustment layers, blending modes, layer masks, and much more. Exercise files are included with the course.
All right. If we take a look at the Layers panel in this particular document, you see I've got a bunch of layers already created, and they have these file names that I'm not really happy with. Lily.jpg, Mixed.jpg and so forth. I want to change the name of the layer, and to do that you simply double-click on its name in the Layers panel. That turns that into an edit field, and I'm going to go ahead and just type over that selected text, or I can just use my arrow key on my keyboard to go to the end of the layer name. You can see the cursor is there now and I can just delete the .jpg part of that layer name. To finalize or lock in that layer name, just press Enter key on your keyboard, and that will be final.
You can go ahead and double-click on all of these layer names and just edit them very quickly. And again, double-click. Change it to an edit field. Then I'm going to go ahead and delete those characters and quickly re-change those names. There's the Dahlia layer. Same thing with the layer here. Now this is a special layer. This is a layer group. So, that's the name of the group of layers. So, if I turn down the disclosure triangle, or technically known as the twisty. If I turn down the twisty, you'll see there's a bunch of layers there as well. I'm going to go ahead and close that again by clicking on the disclosure triangle,and if I want to change its name, again you just double-click.
We'll go ahead and highlight the characters we don't want and hit Delete. And then same thing with these last two layers. We'll go ahead and get rid of their names by double-clicking. And if you're curious as to why these layer names all have the file extensions on them, because I used that Combine Files to Layers command from Bridge and it brought all these individual files in and made one new document and it picks up the file name as the layer name. So, I have them all named the way I want now. Now I also have a layer here that I don't want visible. I have two options for the background, Option01 and Option02. And I want to hide the Option02 layer, and that's what the eye column is for in the Layers panel.
If you just click where there is an eye slot that will turn on and off any particular layer or group of layers as the case might be. Now you can't see the group of layers, because it's behind some of these other layers, and we'll cover that in a little bit. If I want to create a new layer, you just need to decide where you want the new layer created. It's always going to be added, by default above the layer that you have selected in your Layers panel. So, if I want a new layer at the very top, I'm going to click on the Lily layer to select it, and then if I click on the New Layer icon at the bottom of the Layers panel, I get new Layer 1.
Now layer names are actually very important, especially if you're handing off files to other people who are going to work on your particular project there and take it to the next level, or do something with it. Names like layer 1, layer 2, layer 3, copy of layer 1, copy 2 of layer 3, those layers name aren't very helpful. I'm going to undo this. Command+Z, Ctrl+Z to undo the creation of that new layer. And as a bonus tip here, if you Option+ Click or Alt+Click, so you're using that make better key. It just makes Photoshop better. Hold down Option or Alt as you click on things and see what happens.
If I Option or Alt+Click on the New Layer icon in the Layers panel, this gives me a chance to name the layer as I create it. So, you typical want to give your layers contextual names. I don't actually know what I'm going to be doing with this layer here, so I'll just call it Random, but you get the idea. Name your layers, so that when you open up your file a month from now or two years from now, this Navigation panel over here, the Layers panel, acts as a way to navigate and understand what you've done with this particular document. So, layer names become very helpful. Again, by default, if you just click on a New Layer icon at the bottom of the Layers panel, you just get blank layer 1, layer 2, layer 3, and so forth.
Option or Alt+Click on the New Layer icon can give your layers names as you create them. Now when it comes to deleting layers, you can simply select the name of the layer in the Layers panel and hit your Delete key. I'll go ahead and hit the Delete key for layer 2 or your Backspace key. And if you want to delete more than one layer, you can do that as well. I'm just going to hold down the Shift key to select more than one layer. If I want to select a layer that's not continuous here, like if I want to select Mixed as well, if I hold down the Shift key, what that's going to do is it's going to select everything between the last selected layer and the layer I clicked on with the Shift key down.
So, I don't want to do that. I want a Command or Ctrl+click to do what's called Discontinuous Selection. So, here I can select any layers that I want, regardless if they're touching or not, or next to each other in the list here. And if it's already selected, Command or Ctrl+click will deselect them. All right. So, I have my two layers that I want to get rid of. I can delete multiple layers. It just deletes what's selected in the Layers panel. Again, I'll hit the Delete or Backspace key, and I've deleted those layers from the list. So, pretty basic stuff, but stuff you got to kind of understand and know right upfront to start working with layers successfully.
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