🔎 Quick Tips: Photoshop Layer shortcuts

Adobe Employee ,
May 30, 2021 May 30, 2021

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Layer Shortcuts

 

Did you know there is a super useful Photoshop shortcut that creates a new layer containing the merged content of your chosen layers? If you want to create a new merged layer but still want to retain all of the original layers, just select a group of layers and choose Ctrl+Alt+Shift+E on a PC or Command+Option+Shift+E on a mac. This will create a new layer containing the merged content. 

 

merged.png

 

Here are a few other handy layer shortcuts and some helpful links you may want to visit to learn more about layers. If you have a favorite layer shortcut, feel free to add a comment to this post to share with others.

 

Action

Windows

mac OS

Duplicate layer

Crtl+J 

Command+J

Group selected layers­

Ctrl+G

Command+G

Move layer to top of list

Shift+Ctrl+] 

Shift- Command -] 

Send layer to bottom of list

Shift+Ctrl-[ 

Shift- Command -[ 

Merge all layers

Ctrl+E

Command+E

Merge visible layers

Ctrl+ Shift+E

Command+ Shift+E

Merge visible layers to new layer

Ctrl+Alt+Shift+E

Command+Option+Shift+E

 

Note for Mac, Command = ⌘

 

 

Related links:

Layer Basics

Layers Panel

Manage Layers and Groups

Work with Layers

Fill and Adjustment Layer Shortcuts

Photoshop User Guide

Quick Tips Home Page

TOPICS
DI, Editorial, Feature, Featured, How to, Quick Tips

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jun 03, 2021 Jun 03, 2021

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Crtl+E..... Something I love!!!!!!!

I use this way too often.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jun 03, 2021 Jun 03, 2021

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A cool mnemonic for Ctrl+J/Cmd+J is "Jump" to a new layer.

Pay attention as well if you have an active selection.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jun 03, 2021 Jun 03, 2021

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Hey, I didn't know the move to the top and bottom of the stack shortcuts. 

I tend to use Ctrl [ (move up one position) and Ctrl ] (move down position).

 

Christoph, I have a vague memory that you might have given me a shortcut to merge down keeping the name of the lower layer.  It was a long time ago if it happened, and I can't remember what the shortcut might have been. That's iif it is even possible.  It is useful where you have an adjustment layer or two above the layer you are merging to, and your merged layer ends up being named Curves 1.

 

Same thing with Smart Objects except it is more problematic with them.  You can rename the SO after making it, but if you double click to open in a new window to edit it, it reverts back to the original name.  It's more of an affront to the OCD that content creators all seem to suffer from, than a genuine issue, but OCD can be a serious problem if you are the person who has it. 

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jun 04, 2021 Jun 04, 2021

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I'd like to share this additional list of layer tips from Adobe Evangelist Julieanne Kost: https://jkost.com/blog/2017/06/the_layers_panel.html

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jun 13, 2021 Jun 13, 2021

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Some good stuff there Pierre.  I didn't know the rename multiple layers trick.

Ctrl Alt , (comma) to show all layers was also new to me and useful.  I use Alt clicking a layer's eye icon to isolate it for editing, and you can sometimes find that Alt click the eye icon again does not turn the other layers back on, so I shall be using that one for sure.  Adding Shift to the above shortcut turns all layers off.

 

She is not discussing layer masks, but one of my favourite layer mask shortcuts is Alt click the mask to bring it up in the document window.  That can be a useful way to reveal problem areas.

I still don't know if it is possible to merge layers while keeping the lower layer's name.  I have a more than vague idea that someone told me how to do that trick, and I'm thinking that it was either Pierre or Christoph.  Does it ring a bell with you? 

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jun 15, 2021 Jun 15, 2021

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Hi! it might have been Christoph, maybe with a script... if it was me, I forgot how 😄

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jun 18, 2021 Jun 18, 2021

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Trevor, see: https://community.adobe.com/t5/photoshop/how-to-keep-original-lower-layer-name-when-merge-layers/m-p...

 

From Jeff Arola: With two layers then the following applies:1. Select the top layer and use Merge Down (Cmd or Ctrl+E) then the bottom layer name is retained.2. Select both layers and use Merge Layers (Cmd or Ctrl+E) then the top layer name is retained.

 

Stephen March: But what about merge visible (CMD/CTRL SHIFT E)?

Then the selected/highlighted layer is the merged name.

If multiple visible layers are selected, then the upper selected layer will be the layer name, even if there are layers above that are not selected/highlighted!

 

Unfortunately, the linked thread, https://forums.adobe.com/thread/1933668 cannot be found, neither in archive.org...

 

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New Here ,
Jun 07, 2021 Jun 07, 2021

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No, I didn't know this but it will definitely be used multiple times daily, going forward!

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jun 18, 2021 Jun 18, 2021

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BTW, @Pattie-F  I cannot reproduce your main tip, if I select some layers, the CTRL+SHIFT+ALT+E does a merge visible to a new layer, as in the chart, it does not merge only the selected layers.

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