In order to drag-select multiple layers, select the Move tool and check the Auto-Select option in the Options bar. Click and drag over objects with the Move tool (in the image area) to select the layers. 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 select the first layer that you click on and begin to move it instead of selecting additional objects (layers). Note: because a Background is locked by default, it is impossible to select and therefore skipped by the Auto Select Feature. So, if you have layers that you do not want to auto select, lock them. If you prefer to keep the Auto Select Layer unchecked (off), with the Move tool selected, you can use the keyboard shortcut Command (Mac) / Control (Win) to temporarily turn on the auto select functionality.
The Auto Select Layer/Group feature is found in the Options bar when the Move tool is selected. By default, the Auto Select feature is set to Auto-Select Groups (as opposed to Auto-Select Layer). To change this behavior, with the Move tool selected, check the Auto-Select box in the Options bar and choose Layer from the pull-down menu.
To use Auto Select, simply click in the image area over the desired layer to select it. To select additional layers, add the Shift key while clicking. If the Move tool is selected, holding Command (Mac) / Control (Win) temporarily activates the Auto-Select feature.
In addition, you can also select a layer using the context sensitive menus; Control (Mac) / Right Mouse (Win) -click in the image area over the desired layer and select it from the list.
While another tool is selected, holding the Command (Mac) / Control (Win) temporarily accesses the Move tool. Releasing the key returns you to the previous tool. Note: the Crop, Slice, Slice Select, Pen, Freeform Pen, Add Anchor point, Delete Anchor Point, Convert Point, Path Selection, Direct Selection, Shape and Hand tools are excluded from this shortcut.
To create a mask on a layer based on the transparency of another layer, in the Layers panel, select the layer that you want the mask to be added to. Then, drag the layer that you want to become the contents for the mask to the Add Mask Icon at the bottom of the Layers panel. Important: don’t click and release the mouse on the layer that you want to become the contents of the mask – clicking will select the layer, you need to drag that layer instead.
With the tree layer selected, drag the leaves layer to the mask icon.
The transparency of the leaves layer defines the new mask.
Photoshop CS6 introduced the ability to search/filter layers based on a number of parameters using the filter bar at the top of the Layers panel. Photoshop CC took search/filtering one step farther by adding the ability show only selected Layers (while temporarily hiding non-selected layers in the Layers panel), by choosing Select > Isolate Layers.
Layers are selected and then Select > Isolate Layers is chosen, hiding non-selected layers in the Layers panel. Notice that the filter in the Layers panel is activated (the switch is red to show that it’s “on”).
However, when “toggling off” or exiting Isolation mode, Photoshop CC simply turned off the filter in the Layers panel, instead of resetting the Layer Filter. Now, in Photoshop CC (v14.1), toggling Isolation mode “off”, resets the Layer Filter to default values .
The panel on the left shows Photoshop CC with Isolation mode toggled off (note that in the red square, the filter is toggled off). The panel on the right shows Photoshop CC (V14.1) with Isolation mode toggled off and we can see that the Layer Filter has been reset to it’s default values.
Note: Isolation Mode is inactive when using the Direct/Path Selection tools in Active Layers mode.
Dragging in the Layers panel to reposition a layer below a Layer Group can give different results than expected. In the example below, dragging and dropping the texture layer below the Cactus Layer Group, results in the texture layer being added to the Layer Group (inside of it, instead of below it).
Dragging the texture layer below the cactus group adds the texture to the layer group.
Instead, try clicking the disclosure triangle next to the Cactus Layer Group to close it (hide the contents), then drag and drop the texture layer below it.
Or, regardless of the state of the Layer Group (opened or closed) you can simply drag the Cactus Layer Group above the texture layer!
In Photoshop CC, the Photoshop engineers added the ability to use either the Path Selection or Direct Selection tool to drag in the image area and select more than one path – even if the paths were on different layers. Given this feature, customers have since requested they be able to limit the layers that Photoshop allowed drag-selecting shapes from based on whether or not the layer was selected. So now, in Photoshop CC (v14.1), with either the Path Selection and/or Direct Selection tool selected, you can choose between selecting All Layers or Active Layers in the Options bar when drag-selecting paths in the image area.
In addition, using the Keyboard Shortcut editor, under Shortcuts For: Tools you can assign a keyboard shortcut to toggle between the options (Direct Selection Mode Toggle).
Note: Isolation Mode is inactive when in Active Layers mode.
There is a powerful new “mode” in Photoshop CC that can help quickly isolate layers that you currently want to select and work with on the Layers panel. To toggle the isolation mode, simply select the desired layers in the Layers panel, and choose Select > Isolate Layers or toggle the Filter switch at the top right of the Layers panel. Only the layers that are selected will be displayed in the Layers panel.
Select the Layers that you want to work with, then click the “Filter” icon to isolate the layers.
Note: Don’t forget, you can add a custom keyboard shortcut to Select > Isolate Layers to make this even easier!
There are several ways to display a photograph within a shape in Photoshop.
• This first example uses a vector mask to control what portion of the photo is hidden or revealed. To create this effect, select the desired shape tool and set the Shape tool options (in the options bar) to Path. Then drag out the shape and choose Layer > Vector Mask > Current Path.
• The second example shows the photo (Layer 1) clipped by a shape layer. To create this effect, select the desired shape tool and set the Shape tool options (in the options bar) to Shape. Then drag out the shape, reposition it in the Layers panel so that the shape is below the layer with the photo and – with the photo layer selected, choose Layer > Create Clipping Mask. Note: you can achieve different effects by changing the shape layer’s fill and stroke.
• The third example shows that if you create a copy of the original photo and reposition it under the shape layer, lowering it’s opacity and adding a drop shadow can make it more interesting.
In addition to my top 5 favorite features (see video below), these little gems certainly help my workflow.
1) Load Swatch Files from HTML, CSS or SVG Document – use the flyout menu on the Swatches panel to choose Load Swatches. Then, navigate to any HTML, CSS or SVG document and Photoshop will find all of the colors used in that document and load them as swatches.
2) Support for Larger JPEG files – now save JPEG files up to 60,000 x 60,000 pixels.
3) Reposition Paths While Drawing – this one is subtle, but also really powerful. When drawing with the pen tool, pressing the spacebar will allow you to reposition the anchor point – while drawing. The key is that you have to still have the mouse-down for the spacebar to work. Otherwise you get the Hand tool (as expected).
3) Recent Files List – up the limit the “Recent Files” to 100.
4) Smarter Selecting of Layer Names- Photoshop has gotten smarter about the way it names layers when merging them. Instead of always taking the top layer’s name (in the group of layers to be merged), if any of the layers that are going to be merged have been manually renamed (i.e.you renamed them), Photoshop will keep that custom layer name and use it as the new merged layer name. As you can see in the screen shots below, when merging the three layers on the left, Photoshop 13.1 used the custom renamed “Rock” layer as the new merged layer’s name. In previous versions the merged layer would have been named Hue/Saturation 1. Note: if you have created custom names for multiple layers that are all being merged together, then Photoshop will take the top-most custom named layer.