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When it comes to working with layers, you first want to dial in or set up your workspace so that you can really focus in on the layers. Now over here I'm in the Essentials layout, and in the Essentials layout we can see my Layers panel is at the bottom. Now it's kind of hard to view all of these layers, especially if I start to have a lot of layers. What's going to happen is I'm going to need to scroll in order to view the content. So what I want to do is open up more space for my Layers panel. In order to do that, I'll go ahead and navigate to the top group and click on the icon in the far right corner and choose Close this Tab Group.
Now already you can see that I have more space dedicated to my Layers panel. Now the next thing I'm going to do is go ahead and double-click the Adjustments tab because I won't be needing those right now. So again I can really focus in on my layers. Now from here what I want to do is I want to change the way these layers are viewed. I can do that by right-clicking or Ctrl+Clicking and choosing a smaller or larger thumbnail size. In this case I'm going to go ahead and choose Medium so that we can see these thumbnails a little bit more clearly. All right, well how then can we start to work with layers? We have a photograph of one of my good friends, Matt Laskowski, and Matt has written a great book on layers so I thought it would be kind of pertinent to work on this image here.
Well, here you can see I have the original photograph as captured. And what I did in the first layer, if we turn the visibility of that on, is I modified the color and tone and I did a little bit of retouching. Now we'll talk more about the creative side of working with layers later, but for now let's get to the functional. So in this layer again I have color and clean up. Here's our before and then our after. Well, the next thing I'm going to do is to turn on this layer for my graphic, and then finally the last layer which says layers are cool.
Okay, well how then can I work with these layers? Well, let's say that I want to reposition the copy here. Well, all that I need to do is to target this layer. It's titled graphic and then use my Move tool, and you can select your Move tool by clicking on it in the Tools panel. It's the top tool. Or you can press the V key. And then I can click and drag to reposition this particular layer. Well now at this juncture, I need to move the other copy here which says "are cool." Again, I'll click into this layer here to target that and then go ahead and click and drag to reposition.
Well that was a little bit tedious, right, because I had to click in two different layers for something that really should have moved together. Well, if ever you want to move two layers, hold down the Command key on a Mac or Ctrl key on a PC and click to target those two layers and now click and drag, and you can reposition these as needed. All right, well so far so good. What else can we do with layers? Well another thing that we can do is actually change the layer opacity. Well, right now I have two layers targeted, so I'm going to do is lower the Opacity, and as I do that you're going to see that it's affecting opacity on both layers.
This is new in Photoshop CS5. Now if I just want to affect one layer all that I would need to do would be to click into that layer, and then from there drag the Opacity slider to the left or to the right in order to increase or decrease the layer opacity. Well, there's another great way that we can change opacity and it involves a shortcut. Yet it's a really valuable shortcut, and here it is. We'll go ahead and target a layer. Then all that we need to do is to press a number on our keyboard. I'll press eight.
You'll notice it changed the Opacity to 80%, and what I can do is type in different numbers here. You can see that I'm effectively changing the opacity. I'll press 0. That will take that layer opacity back to 100%.
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