Threshold layer becomes empty

New Here ,
May 25, 2020 May 25, 2020

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I am using Photoshop on a trial basis, so I'm not sure if it is the complete version. I am a novice. I have two layers - my original and a threshold layer. When I select both and try to export them, the threshold layer becomes empty and so I can save no improvement on my original. Grouping, linking or merging the layers makes no difference. How can I make this threshold layer a recognised layer that won't be seen as empty? I have also tried saving everything individually and separately as psd files, but I cannot see how to then add a layer from a separate file. It was worth a try.

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How to, Import and export, Windows

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Adobe Community Professional ,
May 25, 2020 May 25, 2020

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»merging the layers makes no difference.«

Could you please post a screenshot taken at View > 100% with the pertinent Panels (Layers, Channels, Options Bar, …) visible? 

Edit: One of before and one after merging. 

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New Here ,
May 25, 2020 May 25, 2020

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OK. I hope the attached is enough. I cannot show a visual of the image as it contains confidential text.

 

Capture.JPG

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New Here ,
May 25, 2020 May 25, 2020

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After merging the Threshold layer disappears.

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New Here ,
May 25, 2020 May 25, 2020

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Apologies, the threshold layer remains after merging, but the original background layer disappears.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
May 25, 2020 May 25, 2020

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I have not asked for a screenshot of the Layers Panel but for a screenshot that includes, among others, the Layers Panel. 

 

Could you please post a screenshot taken at View > 100% with the pertinent Panels (Layers, Channels, Options Bar, …) visible from before and after merging? 

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New Here ,
May 25, 2020 May 25, 2020

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No, because I am a novice and I don't know where these things are. Channels looks like this... ???

 

Capture 2.JPG

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New Here ,
May 25, 2020 May 25, 2020

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Is this the options bar?/

 

Capture 3.JPG

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New Here ,
May 25, 2020 May 25, 2020

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and after merging

 

Capture 4.JPG

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Adobe Community Professional ,
May 25, 2020 May 25, 2020

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These screenshots are useless. 

I asked for screenshots of the image taken at View > 100% (that also show the Panels) from before and after merging – not for screenshots of the various Panels. 

 

So far I don’t even know exactly what your problem actually is. 

If an Adjustment Layer’s effect seems to disappear when merging or saving/exporting a flattened copy then one needs to check if this difference also occurs when viewing at 100%. 

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Adobe Community Professional ,
May 25, 2020 May 25, 2020

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In addition to what c_p asked, what format are you exporting to? And what are you trying to achieve with the a threshold adjustment layer?

~ Jane

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New Here ,
May 25, 2020 May 25, 2020

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I am trying to export to a jpg. The threshold is to reduce dirty background in an old scan.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
May 25, 2020 May 25, 2020

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Hi @Aja Aja ,

I'm assuming this is a scan of a text document, and not a photo from what you said earlier. Have you tried either the Levels or Curves Adjustment layers? The purpose of Threshold is to find the darkest or lightest point in the image.

 

~ Jane

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New Here ,
May 25, 2020 May 25, 2020

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No, I haven't tried those. I will give those a go. I have just tried things randomly to see what they'll do.

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New Here ,
May 25, 2020 May 25, 2020

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Yes, this is an old scan of a text document. The background is very dirty, and I have several of them to clean up. A lot of work for Paint, which is what I have been able to use so far.

 

Sadly, I get the same problem with your suggestions. Curves was easy to use, and Levels a bit more laborious, so thanks for that.

 

I suspect that I have somehow not got the full version of PS because it's a trial. I shall risk paying for it (starting on Wednesday) and if I have the same problem, I shall have to talk to Adobe.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
May 25, 2020 May 25, 2020

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"I shall risk paying for it"

 

Hi

There are several plans for PS. The least expensive is an Annual plan for $9.99 per month. There is also a monthly plan, which can be cancelled without penalty.

 

Here are the subscription terms, and note that if you cancel within 14 days, there is a full refund with no penalty, so if it doesn't work, it's not quite as risky as you thought. Be sure to watch the calendar, though.

https://www.adobe.com/legal/subscription-terms.html

 

If it doesn't work, another option is to try OCR in Adobe Acrobat. There are several settings to set and I won't go through them all now, but note in the following screen shot that there is a filter for Background Removal that has four settings. That may work for you.

 

~ Jane

 

A880D211-F660-485F-BF18-EEFC0B353F92.png

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New Here ,
May 25, 2020 May 25, 2020

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Thanks for your patient and helpful (and not at all rude) advice. I live in the UK, so I hope that I can get the same deals as you describe. I have Acrobat DC, so will give that a go first!

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Adobe Community Professional ,
May 25, 2020 May 25, 2020

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I think the U.K. adds VAT. There are several other settings in Acrobat OCR to be aware of, and you can export to jpeg when finished, which you said is your goal.

 

Ask your question in the Acrobat forum, and give a small sample if possible. Redact anything confidential — use Cmd+Drag or Ctrl+Drag to mark for redaction since it's on a scan.

https://community.adobe.com/t5/acrobat/bd-p/acrobat

 

~ Jane

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New Here ,
May 25, 2020 May 25, 2020

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Thanks again. The reducing background setting in Acrobat did absolutely nothing. I'll try their forum, as you suggest...

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Adobe Community Professional ,
May 25, 2020 May 25, 2020

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Hi @Aja Aja ,

If you are a beginner, you might try the Levels Adjustment Layer first. There are three sliders: shadows, mid tones, and highlights. 

https://helpx.adobe.com/photoshop/using/levels-adjustment.html

 

Curves can be trickier to learn, but works quite well:

https://helpx.adobe.com/photoshop/using/curves-adjustment.html

 

Adjustment layers can be edited in the Properties panel, and can be hidden (or deleted) in the Layers panel.

 

~ Jane

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jun 21, 2021 Jun 21, 2021

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Aja,

You say you are a novice and may be getting a little confused over how adjustment layers work.

 

Your screenshot shows you have two layers. A layer containing pixels which in your screenshot is labelled background and an adjustment layer, in your case a threshold adjustment layer. The first contains the image pixels, the second contains only the adjustment information telling Photoshop how to display the pixels below it. The adjustment layer does not contain any actual pixels, and importantly no permanent changes are made to the pixel layer below it.

 

If you save your document in a format that supports layers (e.g. PSD or TIFF) then both those separate layers are retained and the document can be reopened and the adjustment layer re-adjusted.

If you merge layers or save a copy in a format that does not support layers, then the adjustments are made permanently to the pixel layer before discarding the adjustment  layer and you are left with a single pixel layer which has those adjustments permanently baked into it.

 

When using Photoshop, adjustments should always be checked at 100% zoom, which is not a physical size but means means 1 image pixel mapped onto 1 screen pixel. This will always match before and after merging.

 

Dave

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