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Photoshop has become an indispensible tool for photographers, designers, and all other creative professionals, as well as students. Photoshop CS4 Essential Training teaches a broad spectrum of core skills that are common to many creative fields: working with layers and selections; adjusting, manipulating, and retouching photos; painting; adding text; automating; preparing files for output; and more. Instructor Jan Kabili demonstrates established techniques as well as those made possible by some of the new features unique to Photoshop CS4. This course is indispensable to those who are new to the application, just learning this version, or expanding their skills. Example files accompany the course.
When you're building a layered file with lots of elements on different layers, you may find yourself with lots of layers to deal with. I'd like to show you some ways to handle multiple layers in the Layers panel. I am going to cover selecting multiple layers, grouping layers, and linking layers in this movie. When you have related layers, you may want to move them or change their size or rotate them or do something to all of them at the same time. When that's the case, you can select multiple layers in the Layers panel. So for example, let's say that I would like to move the entire cup with the logo and the numbers and the whipped cream and the cup together.
I am going to go to the Layers panel and I will click on the logo layer, then I'm going to hold the Shift key and I'm going to go down and click on the cup layer. Holding the Shift key selects all the layers in between and now if I were to get my Move tool for examples and drag, all of those layers would go together. I will undo, Command+Z on a Mac or Ctrl+Z on a PC. Now I am going to click on just one of those layers to deselect the multiple layers. Now what would happen if I wanted to move just the logo and the circle together? They are not next to one another in the Layers panel, so I have to select them another way.
First, I will select the Logo layer by clicking on it and then I'm going to hold down the Command key on a Mac or the Ctrl key on a PC as I click on the circle layer. That's how you select noncontiguous layers in the Layers panel. Now if I drag with the Move tool, only the content of those two layers will move. Again, I am going to undo with Command or Ctrl+Z. Selecting multiple layers the way I just showed you is just a temporary way of putting layers together. As soon as I click on some of other layer, the multiple selection goes way, but there will be times when you want to connect layers one to the other in a more permanent fashion.
There are two ways to do that. One thing you can do is to create a layer group. So let's say for example that I want to put together the logo and the circle in one group. First, I need to have them next to one another in the Layers panel. So I'm going to take the logo layer and click-and-drag it just on top of the circle layer here. Then I am going to hold down my Shift key or my Command or Ctrl keys to select the circle layer. Now to make a group from the selected layers, I'm going to go to the Layers panel menu up here and I'm going to go down and choose New Group from Layers.
I will just call this Group 1 and say OK. I no longer see either my circle layer or my logo layer. Where did they go? They're inside of this group. I am going to click this arrow to the left of Group 1. That expands Group 1 and you can see my layers indented inside of Group 1. If I select Group 1, I can then move these layers together or I could add a layer mask that affects all the layers or I could change a blend mode that affects all the layers and more. Groups are also useful for organizing your Layers panel particularly when you get lots of layers there, because you can collapse any group by just clicking its arrow.
There is one more situation you may run into when you want to connect two layers, but they are not next to one another in the Layers panel and they can't be. That's the situation here. Say, I want to connect the whipped cream to the cup, because I want to scale them both down together, but I can't put them in a group because I need to have the logo in between the whipped cream and the cup so that it appears under the whipped cream in the image. In that case, I am going to use the Link function. I am going to click on the whipped cream layer. I am going to hold down the Command key on the Mac or the Ctrl key on a PC and click on the cup layer.
Then I'll link them together by going to the bottom of the Layers panel and pressing this little Link icon. Now each of them has a Link icon on it, and if I were to move them or scale them or do something else to them, they would go together. I will undo that change, Command+Z or Ctrl+Z. If you want to unlink linked layers, you select and then you go to the bottom of the Layers panel and click the Link icon. So those are some ways that you can connect layers to one another so that you can scale them or move them or otherwise work on them together.
You can either multi-select them for a temporary connection and just do what you have to do and then deselect them, or for a more permanent relationship between layers, you can put them together into a group or you can use the Link icon to link them together.
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