5 Tips on Layers Improvements in Photoshop CS6

One part of Photoshop CS6 that received a few updates I was very happy with was the Layers pane. Layers are such a big part of image editing and some of these updates I have been waiting for a very long time to see. Today I want to cover 5 of my favorite improvements to layers in Adobe Photoshop CS6.

1) New icon for layers that have used the blend mode – Previously if you used the blend if section in a layer style there wasn’t anything to visually indicate this in the layer. Now you will see the following icon to show that you are using the blend if in the layer style.

photoshop layers tips cs6

2) Changing the blend mode for multiple layers – Another thing they added in Photoshop CS6 that comes in very handy with using blend modes is now the ability to change the blend mode for multiple layers at once. To do this just shift click to select multiple layers (if the layers are all grouped together use shift click, if not then use command click to select multiple layers). Then while you have the layers all selected adjust the blend mode dropdown and this will apply to all layers highlighted.

3) Other adjustments to multiple layers – Speaking of adjusting multiple layers at once you can do much more than just adjust the blend modes. You can also lock multiple layers, set a color to multiple layers and my personal favorite…. collapse any layer effects. Many times I add a layer effect to one layer and then copy/paste that layer effect with a custom keyboard shortcut to many other layers. I always prefer having the layer effects collapsed to save space and used to have to click the little collapse arrow one by one. Now just multi select and then one click to collapse them all at once!

Also a shortcut for this is to just use the Option click on the arrow and it will automatically collapse all effects on all layers.

photoshop layers tips cs6b

4) Layer searching – You can now search layers in a wide variety of ways. You can search layers by Kind, name, effect, mode, attribute and color. Check out a more info on layer searching here: Searching Layers in Photoshop Cs6.

5) Applying layer styles to groups – Now if you select a group and then apply a layer style to the group it will automatically apply that effect to the entire set of layers within the group.

Most of these enhancements are very small but since layers are such a big part of Photoshop these can save you a ton of time compared to the workflow prior to CS6. What are some of your favorite new features in Photoshop CS6? Let me know in the comments below.

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Author: Mark

Mark is a fine art wedding and portrait photographer from Northern California. He has been passionate about photography since childhood and started his studio 12 years ago to bring a fresh style of photography to the wedding and portrait world.

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