Possible to align layers but lock one so it doesn't move?

Contributor ,
May 03, 2021 May 03, 2021

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I'm running CS6.

I have a layer B that I want to align to another layer, A, the master. I don't want A to move.

  1. I locked A, selected both and aligned, and both layers moved.
  2. I made layer A the Background, aligned, and both layers moved again.

 

How dare PS move a locked layer!

Is there any way around this?

 

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Adobe Community Professional ,
May 03, 2021 May 03, 2021

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Both InDesign and Illustrator have a feature called "key object" where that one object does not move when aligned. This would be a good feature request for the product developers for Photoshop. You can make it here: https://feedback.photoshop.com/

 

~ Jane

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Adobe Community Professional ,
May 03, 2021 May 03, 2021

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Here in CC v21.3.1 if I lock a layer it does not move - but nor do I get the option to align two layers if one is locked.

 

You could though make a selection of one layer and then use "Align to selection" for the other

 

Dave

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Adobe Community Professional ,
May 03, 2021 May 03, 2021

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I can't test CS6 anymore, but I thought Background layers couldn't be moved or reordered back then. (I could be misremembering.) Did you make it a Background layer by going to Layer > New > Background from Layer?

 

Also, I didn't catch the CS6 on the first reading. Adobe only adds new features with updates to the current version, which is Photoshop 2021 (22.2).

 

Dave's workaround sounds like a good one since key objects are not part of Photoshop currently.

 

~ Jane

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Adobe Community Professional ,
May 03, 2021 May 03, 2021

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The Background layer should never move or be transformed. No workaround should be necessary.

 

I do this a lot and I have never, ever, seen the Background layer change in any way. Really, never. All other layers align to it, and all transforms are relative to it.

 

In fact, my experience is that the bottom layer in the stack always stays put, even if it's a floating layer. But just to be safe I make sure it's a Background.

 

Obviously, CS6 is ten years old and maybe it didn't work the same way at first.

 

 

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Adobe Community Professional ,
May 03, 2021 May 03, 2021

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"The Background layer should never move or be transformed"

 

I agree but I was thinking of , and testing with, two other layers

 

Dave

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Adobe Community Professional ,
May 03, 2021 May 03, 2021

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Well, I did some testing on my own here, and a floating layer at the bottom of the stack doesn't move. It doesn't have to be locked. It stays where it is, and doesn't get transformed.

 

But even if I do lock it, Auto-Align still runs. Locking doesn't seem to make any difference one way or another.

 

 

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Adobe Community Professional ,
May 03, 2021 May 03, 2021

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I wonder if this depends on layer type. I was using SOs and shape layers

Dave

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Adobe Community Professional ,
May 03, 2021 May 03, 2021

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Jane-e wrote:
I can't test CS6 anymore, but I thought Background layers couldn't be moved or reordered back then. (I could be misremembering.) Did you make it a Background layer by going to Layer > New > Background from Layer?

 

I was out of my office for a few hours, but what I was trying to clarify here is whether Layer A was really converted into a Background layer or not.

 

I've seen hundreds of users rename a layer and call it "Background", thinking that this would turn it into a Background layer when it doesn't. If this is what happened, it would explain why a layer called Background would have moved, as in the original post.

 

We haven't heard back from @Guy Burns  yet, so we don't know if the layer was converted or renamed. It's just one possibility.

 

~ Jane

 

 

 

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Most Valuable Participant ,
May 03, 2021 May 03, 2021

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Ctrl+Click on layer's A content Thumbnail in the layers Palette to Select layer's A Content as the Active selection.  Then Targets all the other layers you want to align relatively to  layer A.   Then use two menu  Layer>Align Layers to selection>Alignments  where one alignment is relative the  Horizontal and the other to the vertical alignment.  There are 9 alignments possible like the 9  slots in a tick tock toe board.

JJMack

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Contributor ,
May 03, 2021 May 03, 2021

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Thanks for all the feedback. I read through it all, ready to try again this morning. Last night before posting, I must have tried a dozen times to keep the Background in place (a true, locked Background) while aligning the top layer (B, one of about 10 layers). I re-arranged layers, unlocked all of them, locked all of them (except B), and various other combinations of trying to align B with the Background. The only thing I didn't try was to quit PS and start again.

 

Something must have gone haywire with my PS last night, because this morning when I fired up, the alignment worked correctly. But, I did notice that the alignment unlocks and renames the Background layer, and doesn't return it to a true Background. That itself suggests that last night PS was unlocking the Background in preparation for aligning, and then inadvertently moving both because of temporary insanity.

 

Thanks again. Next time I have a problem with PS, I'll try quitting.

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