July 6, 2009
Layer Groups are, by default, set to display blending effects (such as opacity, blend modes etc.) just like any other layer in Photoshop. For example, if a layer in a Group has it’s blend mode is set to “Multiply”, it will be multiplied (blended) with all other layers below it. In this default state, clicking on the Group in the Layers panel displays “Pass Through” as the Group’s blend mode (i.e: any blending applied to layers within the group is “passing through” the group to be applied to the layers below it).
To change this default behavior to limit the blending between layers to only those layers within the Groups, target the Group in the Layers panel and set the Groups blend mode to “Normal” . For even more advanced blending of channels within Groups, choose Layer >Group Properties (or Control (Mac)/ right mouse (Win) -click the Group icon in the Layers panel and select Group Properties) to specify which channels to use for special effect blending of layers.
July 3, 2009
Not only are Layer Groups great for organizing your layers, you can also use them to mask the contents of multiple layers at a time. With the Group targeted in the Layers panel, click the Add Pixel (or Vector) Mask icon from the Masks panel. This mask will control the visibility of all layers within the Group.
July 2, 2009
Copying Merged Layers (and Groups)
Command (Mac) / Control (Win) + Shift + C (with a selection) copies a merged view of all visible layers onto the clipboard.
Option-Command (Mac) / Alt-Control (Win) + Shift +E, pastes a merged copy of all visible layers on a (single) new layer above the topmost currently selected layer.
July 1, 2009
Command (Mac) / Control (Win) -click the disclosure triangle next to a layer Group to expand or collapse all layer Groups in the document.
Option (Mac) / Alt (Win) -click the disclosure triangle to expand collapse all groups nested within the current group.
Option-Command (Mac) / Alt-Control (Win) -cick the disclosure triangle to expand and collapse all groups (nested or not).
Or, if you prefer, Control (Mac)/ right mouse (Win) -click the Group’s disclosure triangle and choose “Close/Open this Group” or “Close/Open all Other Groups”.
June 30, 2009
To automatically select Layer Groups (as oppose to selecting individual layers), with the Move tool selected, check the Auto-Select box in the Options bar and choose Group from the pull-down menu.
June 29, 2009
To delete a Group, select Layer > Delete > Group or, with the Group selected on the Layers panel, click the trash can icon. Either method displays a dialog with the options to delete the “Group and Contents” (which deletes both), “Group Only” (which removes any groups but leaves the layers), or “Cancel”.
To delete the Group and all of it’s contents while bypassing the dialog select the Group on the Layers panel and either drag the Group to the trash can icon or, Option (Mac) / Alt (Win) -click the trash can icon.
Command (Mac) / Control (Win) -drag a Group to the trash can icon to delete a Group without deleting it’s contents.
June 26, 2009
With a Group targeted in the layers panel, Select Layer > Duplicate Group or Option (Mac) / Alt (Win) -drag the Group in the Layers panel (until you see a heavy black line between the layers) and release.
Note this shortcut will not work if the Group is at the top of the Layers panel – in this case, I use the context sensitive menu (Control -click (Mac) or right mouse click) on the Group and select Duplicate Group.
June 25, 2009
Layer Groups are an excellent way to organize a complex multi layered document. To create an empty Layer Group, click the Create Layer Group (the folder) icon at the bottom of the Layers panel. The Group will be added above the currently targeted layer. If no layers are targeted, Photoshop adds the group to the top of the layer stack.
To create a new Layer Group while simultaneously placing targeted layers into that group Group select Layer > Group Layers or drag the targeted layers (in the Layers panel) to the New Group icon at the bottom of the Layers panel, or use the keyboard shortcut Command (Mac) / Control (Win) + G. The group will be added above the topmost currently targeted layer.
To ungroup layers select Layer > Ungroup Layers or use the keyboard shortcut Command (Mac) / Control (Win) + Shift + G.