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Using automatic layer selection

From: Photoshop CS6 for Web Design

Video: Using automatic layer selection

One of the major pain points for anyone who's new to Photoshop, especially for people who are used to working in programs like Illustrator or Fireworks for instance, is the fact that they can't just come out here inside of their document and click on something and move it. For instance, if I wanted to move this photograph right here, if I just click on it and try to move it, the only that moves is the layer I have selected, which is the photo on the bottom. You can see it's moving and not the one on top. So it's kind of tedious for them, because they have to come over and they have to find the layer they're looking for in the Layers panel, then come back over here, and click and drag. Well, oops! That's not the right one, so then I have to go back and find another layer and oh, that-- okay that was the one I was looking for.

Using automatic layer selection

One of the major pain points for anyone who's new to Photoshop, especially for people who are used to working in programs like Illustrator or Fireworks for instance, is the fact that they can't just come out here inside of their document and click on something and move it. For instance, if I wanted to move this photograph right here, if I just click on it and try to move it, the only that moves is the layer I have selected, which is the photo on the bottom. You can see it's moving and not the one on top. So it's kind of tedious for them, because they have to come over and they have to find the layer they're looking for in the Layers panel, then come back over here, and click and drag. Well, oops! That's not the right one, so then I have to go back and find another layer and oh, that-- okay that was the one I was looking for.

Then I have to remember, okay, that's layer 2 copy 2, and that's just a real pain. Luckily there is a feature inside of Photoshop that you can enable to get around this. So with the Move tool selected, this little arrow right here, which you can access by hitting the letter V on your keyboard, you can go up to the Options bar and you can select Auto-Select. Once you select that, you are then able to come out and simply click on an object and it will automatically become selected. So for instance, the bird logo here, if I click, it automatically selects it. You can see now I can move it around.

This one right here, if I click on the Compose button, it automatically grabs that. Same thing for the photos. And if you look over to my Layers panel, each time I click on something different, it switches where I'm currently selecting. Same thing for text. It works on text as well, and shapes as well. Now if I happen to have a few objects grouped together--for instance let's go down and grab this rounded rectangle and the bird logo and the blue header bar. I'll go ahead and group these together, Command+G or Ctrl+G on my keyboard and then I'll select one of these other layers, just to get my selection off of those.

If I have Auto-Select turned on, then when I come out here and I click on any one of these, it automatically selects the entire group. If I twirl open the group, I can then select the individual objects. But if I happen to come out and try to move them, it selects the entire group. So you have to be careful when working with groups and using Auto-Select. Auto-Select works fine when you're just using individual layers. However, when you're trying to select objects that are inside of a group, if you have Auto-Select turned on, it's going to automatically select the group.

If you want to turn that off, you can come back up to the Options bar, click here, and choose Layer as opposed to Group. Now when you come out you can then click on the layer and it will select the layer each and every time. So, if you wanted to do the group behavior, you come up and change that to Group; if you wanted to select individual layers, then you select layer. Either way, this is a great way to gain instant control over individual objects in your document without having to go over and search tediously inside of the Layers panel. So it's one of those little-known features of Photoshop, but one that comes in so handy.

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This video is part of

Image for Photoshop CS6 for Web Design
Photoshop CS6 for Web Design

75 video lessons · 51222 viewers

Justin Seeley
Author

 
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  1. 1m 9s
    1. Welcome
      48s
    2. Using the exercise files
      21s
  2. 25m 50s
    1. Designing for screens
      1m 8s
    2. Decoding screen size and resolution
      3m 9s
    3. Exploring the PSD-to-HTML workflow
      2m 25s
    4. Setting up Photoshop for web work
      5m 29s
    5. Creating a new document for web
      2m 36s
    6. Creating a new document for mobile
      4m 24s
    7. Setting up a responsive web layout
      3m 31s
    8. Creating email newsletter documents
      3m 8s
  3. 20m 39s
    1. Adjusting color settings
      4m 13s
    2. Understanding web color
      4m 0s
    3. Creating a color palette
      4m 56s
    4. Creating custom swatches
      3m 34s
    5. Applying color to shapes and graphics
      3m 56s
  4. 20m 36s
    1. Exploring the Layers panel
      4m 9s
    2. Renaming and grouping layers
      7m 19s
    3. Searching and filtering layers
      3m 11s
    4. Using layer comps effectively
      3m 4s
    5. Using automatic layer selection
      2m 53s
  5. 29m 2s
    1. Using vector shapes vs. pixel shapes
      3m 31s
    2. Creating vector shapes
      5m 2s
    3. Working with fills and strokes
      4m 36s
    4. Working with Smart Objects
      7m 47s
    5. Importing images
      3m 57s
    6. Cropping and resizing images
      4m 9s
  6. 28m 48s
    1. Planning your project
      3m 13s
    2. Using guides and rulers
      6m 40s
    3. Using a grid system
      8m 28s
    4. Developing a layout with shape layers
      4m 4s
    5. Making pixel-perfect adjustments
      6m 23s
  7. 23m 19s
    1. Using point text vs. paragraph text
      2m 10s
    2. Using text as text vs. using text as an image
      2m 47s
    3. Understanding web-safe fonts
      2m 41s
    4. Inserting placeholder text
      4m 2s
    5. Creating and using character styles
      2m 37s
    6. Creating and using paragraph styles
      6m 11s
    7. Creating editable 3D text
      2m 51s
  8. 26m 54s
    1. Understanding layer styles
      7m 0s
    2. Creating and using drop shadows
      3m 23s
    3. Creating better bevels
      6m 9s
    4. Simulating metallic textures
      5m 8s
    5. Saving and applying layer styles
      2m 48s
    6. Turning layer styles into independent layers
      2m 26s
  9. 50m 23s
    1. Starting with a wireframe
      54s
    2. Organizing page structure
      2m 29s
    3. Adding master elements
      5m 37s
    4. Creating navigation
      4m 36s
    5. Working with photographs
      4m 0s
    6. Working with text
      8m 31s
    7. Creating media placeholders
      7m 22s
    8. Creating buttons
      7m 15s
    9. Creating form fields
      7m 54s
    10. Simulating pages with layer comps
      1m 45s
  10. 33m 38s
    1. Understanding slicing
      2m 4s
    2. Slicing up a mockup
      4m 15s
    3. Understanding web file formats
      4m 3s
    4. Exploring the Save for Web dialog
      5m 3s
    5. Optimizing photographs
      4m 17s
    6. Optimizing transparent graphics
      4m 56s
    7. Saving Retina display graphics
      5m 34s
    8. Using the Image Generator (NEW)
      3m 26s
  11. 10m 40s
    1. Understanding image sprites
      1m 25s
    2. Creating a sprite grid
      2m 54s
    3. Assembling a sprite
      4m 51s
    4. Optimizing sprites for the web
      1m 30s
  12. 18m 6s
    1. Creating a basic action
      5m 28s
    2. Exploring batch processing
      2m 55s
    3. Creating droplets
      3m 20s
    4. Using the Fit Image command
      4m 5s
    5. Using the Image Processor
      2m 18s
  13. 6m 56s
    1. Integrating PSD files with Dreamweaver
      3m 22s
    2. Integrating PSD files with Fireworks
      1m 59s
    3. Integrating PSD files with Muse
      1m 35s
  14. 50s
    1. Goodbye
      50s

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