Searching Layers in Photoshop 6

One of the greatest features I have been waiting for in Photoshop was added in Photoshop CS6 although many of you might not have noticed it yet. It’s a little feature but at the same time one of those really nice to have features. Since I do a lot of album designs in Photoshop and other types of work that have many, many layers it always can be hard to find the exact layer I need to work on. I always wished that Adobe had a easy way to search layers and when CS6 was released they finally did add a few ways you can search your layers. Today I want to walk through how layer search works for those of you who haven’t used it yet.

The search panel is at the top of the layers panel in Photoshop. It defaults to kind and you will see 5 different buttons you can click on. This will only show you layers by the following (from left to right): Image layers, layers with adjustment layers, text layers, shapes and smart object layers. It’s an easy way to quickly find a text layer if you only have a few text layers in a sea of image layers.

photoshop cs6 layer search

You can also search by layer name which is the best way to search provided you are naming your layers with a custom name. Just click on the drop down and select name, then type in the layer name you are looking for to search. I know it can be hard to get into the habit of doing this but when dealing with files with many layers it’s always a good idea to name each layer something that describes the image.

Another way you can search is by layers with effects. This can also be very helpful when you don’t know what you named a layer but know that the layer has a Bevel and Emboss effect for example. Just select an effect from the dropdown list and your layers pane will change to only show you those layers.

photoshop layer search

There are 3 more ways to search your layers in the drop down: Mode, Attribute and Color. Layer searching can help save a lot of time for those huge files and as we all know saving time means more time in front of the camera :)

And that’s it, quick and easy today but something that I hope can save you all time when looking for that one layer in a stack of many. If you also have any questions about Photoshop CS6 let me know in the comments below, I am working on lots of tutorials on the various tools in Photoshop and love to hear from you.

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Author: Mark Stagi

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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  1. 5 Tips on Layers Improvements in Photoshop CS6 | Digital Photo Buzz - [...] 4) Layer searching – You can now search layers in a wide variety of ways. You can search layers …

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