March 26, 2012

Demo: Filter layers by name, type in Photoshop CS6

Sometimes the best things are the smallest. I’m so weirdly proud of the layer searching shortcuts in PS CS6.

  • You can hit Cmd-Opt-Shift-F to put focus on the Layers panel’s new search field. Start typing and Photoshop will start displaying only the layers whose names match.
  • Hitting the same command highlights the text in the field, letting you start typing again to filter with a new string.
  • Hitting Delete clears the field, making Layers display all layers again.
  • Hitting Return/Enter will put keyboard focus back onto PS proper (consistent with how other text fields work in the app). Esc does the same but also cancels whatever change you just made.


Note that clearing the field isn’t the same as toggling filtering on/off with the little red switch to the right. Why? Because toggling the switch is non-destructive: You can set up filtering criteria (e.g. show me all text & adjustment layers), then quickly enable/disable filtering; you don’t have to keep setting up the parameters.

A big deal, used by tons & tons of people? Maybe not. But to me it speaks volumes about quality and craftsmanship, and God help me, I live for this stuff.

Here Grant Friedman of PSDTUTS quickly demos the basics:

Posted by John Nack at 8:45 AM on March 26, 2012


  • Joe Colson — 11:04 AM on March 26, 2012

    “God help me, I live for this stuff.”

    We do too, John. We do too. Thanks.

  • Todd Kopriva — 6:32 PM on March 26, 2012

    Looks familiar. ;-)

  • Bob Killen — 7:05 AM on March 27, 2012

    A big plus… thanks team

  • marco — 5:53 PM on March 27, 2012

    cs6 photoshop apparently seems much more powerful, good information…

  • Shangara Singh — 2:43 AM on March 28, 2012

    To turn all filtering off, Option/Alt-click the Filter On/Off switch.

    Now, maybe in Photoshop CS7 we can have a Search field in the Keyboard Shortcuts dialog. Yes, have filed feature request.

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