Can I Separate Layer Styles From Layers in Photoshop?


Staff member
I have a pretty neat little trick today for all those out there who like tricks. This one has to do with separating layer styles from the layers they were applied to in Adobe Photoshop. The best part is, the process for doing this is extremely simple to pull off. It's basically just a right-click and a click.

Okay, let's say you write out some text with the Horizontal Text Tool in Photoshop and then you apply a layer style to it. It can be any style of many; say, a drop shadow, outer or inner glow, bevel and emboss or even a stroke. Sometimes, creating a layer style as a neat effect is much easier than creating that same layer that's all funky looking. Photoshop does a good job of letting us play around with the looks of these styles in the Layer Style palette.

Anyway, the effect is applied to the layer, but you'd like to pull the layer and the style apart because you'd like to use the style for something entirely different. Again, styles can be really cool.

Okay, here's how to separate layer styles from layers. Head over to the Layers panel and right-click on the layer style line itself. A menu will appear and towards the bottom, you'll see an option that says Create Layer. Just click that and you'll be all set. You'll notice that the original layer doesn't have the style applied to it anymore and that the style is actually a layer unto itself. After doing this, you can do whatever you want with the style. And do you want to know what's even stranger? If you convert the style layer to a Smart Object, you can apply a style to the style. Go ahead and give it a try.

If you have any further suggestions for how to work with layer effects in this regard, please chime in down below. And if you have any questions, we're always here to help. Ask away! Thanks!

PS - Want to read a comprehensive post on separating layers and layer effects? You can!
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