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Join Justin Seeley as he reveals how designers can create vibrant web graphics, wireframes, and complete web site mockups in Adobe Photoshop. The course covers creating a custom web workspace for maximum efficiency; drawing, coloring, and optimizing web graphics; creating vector shapes and text that scale seamlessly; mastering transparency; building navigation bars and buttons; and speeding up these tasks with the Photoshop automation tools.
If you're going to be utilizing a lot of layers inside of Photoshop, it's a great idea to start practicing grouping and renaming those layers to keep your file organized, so if you handed this off to a developer or if you simply open it up six months later, anybody could open it up and understand exactly what's going on. So I've got this file opened here called explorer layers.psd. And as you can see, inside of the Layers panel, it's a mess. I need to get this thing organized so that I can hand this off to my application developer to further it along. So let me bring out the Layers panel so we can actually see what's going on, and let's take a look at how we can remedy this unorganized thing.
So the first thing I need to do is determine exactly which layers need to be renamed and which ones need to be grouped together. So I'm just going to go through, starting at the bottom, and find out what everything is and what I need to do with it. In order to do that, I'm going to use a very simple method. I'm just going to toggle the visibility of the layer and see what and where it is. If I hit this first one, it's actually the footer down here at the bottom. So in order to rename this layer, I'll just double- click and then I'll type in "Footer" and hit Enter. For this one, toggle the visibility. That's a little stripe across the top.
It's usually where the carrier information goes for a mobile phone. So I'm just going to double-click again. I'll select that text and I'll type in "Carrier Info." We'll find out this. Okay, that's the blue strip across the top, so we'll double-click that. And I'm just going to call this the Header. Right here, this is the bird icon. I can tell that simply by looking at the layer thumbnail. So I'll double-click there and I'll type "Bird Icon." This is a rounded rectangle. I can tell. That this should be this guy right up here.
So I'm going to hit that and call it Compose Button. Now I get in o some tricky areas because things are just named arbitrarily like Rectangle 3 and layer 2, Copy 3, and a bunch of text. So I need to figure out exactly what these do. So again, I'm going to visibility test. So let's do this. Okay. So that's the top rectangle. So I'll just double-click, and I'll select that text and I'll type in "Top Rectangle." This is the text on the top one, so we'll type in "Top Text." This one here, it's the Top Photo, and there we go.
I'll do the same thing for these. Let's do the visibility test. So that's 2nd Rectangle, the 2nd Text. Select the next layer up. Toggle the visibility. That's the 2nd Photo. And again, I'm just double- clicking the text, changing the name, and hitting Enter to commit to the change. I'll keep scrolling up. Again, toggle the visibility next to the layer, in this Rectangle 3 copy 2. So I'll double- click that and I'll change this to 3rd Rectangle.
Go up, toggle the text. That is the 3rd Text. This one should be the 3rd Photo. Let's see. There we go, 3rd Photo. Next one, 4th Rectangle, 4th Text, and that should be the last photo, 4th Photo. There we go. Okay, now I've got all my layers named, but they're still not very organized. So what I'm going to do is start regrouping all of the layers.
So in this case, I know the Header, the Bird Icon, and the Compose Button are all at the very top. So is the Carrier Info. So what I'm going to do is put these in the order they appear on the screen. So I'm going to put the Carrier Info up above the Compose Button. I'll put the Bird Icon above the Compose Button as well. And then the Header goes behind all of it, because the Header is the blue part that goes behind everything. I'm then going to select Header, hold down Shift, and click the Compose Button, hold down Shift, click the Bird, hold down Shift, and click Carrier Info.
Then I'm simply going to, on my keyboard, press Command+G or Ctrl+G. That groups those layers together, and now I'll double-click where it says Group 1 and I can select that text and change this to Header. So that's my Header group. I am now going to go through and select all of these rows of content--this one, this one, this one, et cetera--and group those together. Luckily I've named them in such a way where I can easily grab the ones that go with each other. For instance, this one says Top, Top, and Top. So I'll just select all three of those.
I did that by holding down Shift and clicking, and then Command+G or Ctrl+G, and I'll type this in, Top Row. Select the 2nd Rectangle, 2nd Text, and 2nd Photo. Group those with Command+G or Ctrl+G. Double-click and I'll type out 2nd Row. Select all the 3rd, group them, and this one will be 3rd Row. And then finally, the 4th, group those, and 4th Row, okay. Now the Footer, I'm probably going to put some more stuff down here with the Footer, so I'm going to go ahead and throw it in its own group. And I just selected it and hit Command+G or Ctrl+G to do that, and I'll call this the Footer.
Now the Header, I'll move that group to the top just by clicking and dragging it up. You've got to be careful to get it in between one of the other rows, because if you drop it right on top of the 4th Row, it will actually go inside that other group. So you see that little bounding box that's around the outside of it when I'm on top of the 4th Row right there? That slight little bounding box tells me I'm going to drop it in. If I drag it up a little bit further, the bounding box goes away and a little white line appears at the top. That's what I'm looking for. I'm going to go ahead and let go and the Header moves to the top. I'll move the Top Row right beneath the Header.
Notice I'm looking for that little line in between again. Drop it. 2nd Row, drop it. 3rd Row, drop it. So now everything is in the right order. I've got my Header up top, Top Row, 2nd Row, 3rd Row, 4th Row, followed by the Footer, and then of course we've the Background in the back. So let me toggle the visibility of the individual groups and show you what I've done now. So here is the Header. If I turn it off, everything at the very top disappears. Here's my Top Row, the 2nd Row, 3rd, 4th, and then my Footer at the bottom.
So now if I open all these up, you can see, they've all been grouped together, they've all got all the layers that were in there originally, and all the layers have also been renamed, and they're a lot easier to find it and a lot easier to deal with. So now instead of having to deal with all of these layers all at once, anytime I want to work on a specific area of this design, I just find the group where that object is located, temporarily open that group, and work on it there. So for instance, let's say I want to change the 4th Photo down here at the bottom.
I just open up 4th row, find the 4th Photo and I can make a change to just that photo. I don't have to open up all these other ones, and I don't have to go searching for it, because I've named it something easy to remember. It's always good practice to go through and name and group your layers as you work inside of Photoshop. But I realize a lot of times you're in a hurry and you just simply don't have the time to do that. But if you go back out after the fact and clean them up nice and neat like this, the developers you hand off your projects to, or even your coworkers that you share them with, will appreciate you so much more.
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