Photoshop’s layer styles—multiple appearance attributes that allow you to quickly create a more complex look for content on a layer or in a layer group—were originally introduced in Photoshop 6.0, around fifteen years ago; let’s take a look at that splash screen, just for a bit of contextual nostalgia:
Ok, that’ll do.
Layer styles provide a variety of effects—such as shadows, glows, overlays and bevels—to change the appearance of a layer’s contents and the styles are linked to the layer contents; if you change the contents of a layer—for example, a text layer, perhaps—then the style is automatically applied to the new/modified text if you change it.
Layer styles have been a very useful addition to Photoshop—especially for designers—but they haven’t been shown any love in terns of updates for a while; fortunately Photoshop CC2015 has changed all that and has introduced the ability to add up to ten—yes 10—instances of select layer style attributes:
- Inner Shadow
- Color Overlay
- Gradient Overlay
- Drop Shadow
This is the sort of thing that in previous versions would perhaps have required rasterization to achieve, which kind of defeats the dynamic advantages that layer styles offer; apart from the ability to simply edit the text without creating loads of extra work, using layer styles with text variables is really powerful!
In the dialog, attributes can have their stacking order changed in relation to other attributes of the same type; strokes can be reordered next to each other, but can’t be moved above or below other attribute types at the current time. Just to be clear, in the above example any of the stroke attributes can be moved up or down above/beneath other strokes, but the strokes can’t be moved below the Inner Shadow or above the Bevel and Emboss.
Layer Styles can be added to CC Libraries, which means that other people on your team or other collaborators can apply them to layers in their projects with a click!