by Julieanne Kost
To auto select a layer, with the Move tool selected, check the Auto-Selection option in the Options bar. Choose between Auto-Select Layers or Group. Or, to temporarily invoke the Auto-Select functionality, with the Move tool selected, Command (Mac) / Control (Win) -click on part of the layer’s content. To select more than one layer, Shift-click on the layer’s content in the image area. Shift clicking on an already selected object deselects it.
With the Auto-Select feature invoked, you can also click-drag over objects in the image area, to select their corresponding layers in the Layers panel. This method works well if you have multiple objects (layers) and a Background. Otherwise, because you have the Auto Select feature turned on, clicking in the image area will auto-select the first layer that you click on and begin to move it instead of selecting additional objects (layers). Because a Background is locked by default, it is impossible to select and therefore skipped by the Auto Select Feature. Hint: if you have layers that you do not want to auto select, lock them.