As I’ve said a number of times, working in the Layers panel can sometimes get confusing. I know that in some of the examples I give, there aren’t many layers at all. In real projects though, there can be an enormous number of them. I mean hundreds. They’re tucked in areas every which way. And when there’s that many layers, things can get confusing – quick. Also, working in the panel with this much volume can become cumbersome, so anything that can be done to help out is certainly welcome.
In my last post about Adobe Photoshop, I talked about some pretty neat keyboard shortcuts that have to do with the Layers panel. In today’s post, I’d like to continue on that path, but switch gears a bit and discuss some tricks that can help out when dealing with layer effects. I don’t want to cover too much here, so this post will be quick. I merely want to show you a few tips you might not know exist.
I probably used this photo already, but I don’t mind. It’s got some nice room up top for me to place some text in, so I think this will work out just fine.
To prepare for the tips I’d like to share, I’ll need to add a few more layers and then add some effects to each one. I think I’ll type out “The Open Road” (each word on its own layer) and then add some strokes and drop shadows to each text layer. Actually, let me just start off by adding those effects to the word “The” because that will give me a chance to show you something in just a moment.
After adding the layers and the effects, this is what the Layers panel will look like.
And this is the image so far.
Copying Layer Effects From One Layer to Another
Okay, here goes. I’d like to now copy the effects I applied to the word “The” to the remaining words. How can I do that? Well, if I simply hold down the Alt key (Option on Mac) on my keyboard and drag those effects down to any layer I’d like to apply them to and then drop, I’ll basically be copy/pasting. I’ll do that right now.
I placed a red arrow in the above screenshot. That’s to show you that I didn’t click and drag the entire layer down to the other layers, I actually clicked and dragged the effects down to the other layers. That arrow is pointing to where I clicked.
Replacing One Layer’s Effects with Another Layer’s Effects
This tip is very similar to the last one. Now that I have all three type layers with the same exact effects, what if I wanted to adjust one because I just don’t think it looks right? I’ll go into to the Layer Style palette and make the Drop Shadow a bit larger for the word “Open” and I think I’ll make the Stroke a hair thicker as well. It will look like this when I’m finished. You can compare the word “Open” with the other words and see the difference in effects applied to all those words.
See the difference? Now I’d like to apply those same changes to the word “Road,” but I don’t want to have to open the Layer Style palette again and do all that work. I wonder if there’s a way to copy those changes over from one layer to another, where the other layer already has similar effects. Basically, I’d like to replace some existing layer effects with some others.
To replace layer effects with existing ones, all I have to use is the same exact command I just used above. If I hold down the Alt key on my keyboard and drag the effects from one layer to another, that target layer’s effects will be updated with the source’s effects.
Collapsing Layer Effects in the Layers Panel
If I was interested in hiding the layer effects in the Layers panel, I could click on the small upward facing arrow that’s located at the right side of each layer that has effects applied to it. Take a look at what I’m referring to.
Now, when I say “hide,” I don’t mean make the layer styles hidden in the actual image. I mean to just hide the effects in the Layers panel itself. The words.
Okay, clicking on that arrow is how you collapse one set of effects at a time. If I wanted to collapse all of the layer effect areas at once, I can hold down the Alt key again and click on any one of those arrows in any layer I wish. Doing so would collapse all of the effect areas simultaneously, effectively hiding them from view. Imagine how helpful something like this can be if you had hundreds of layers.
Hiding an Actually Effect From View
I know you already know this, but I’ll just repeat it here anyway. To hide an actual effect from view in the image itself, to make it as if it were never applied, simply click on the small eye icon that sits to the left of that effect in the Layers panel. Here, I’ll circle on of those eyes in this next screenshot.
I hope I clearly explained how to use some layer effect keyboard shortcuts in Adobe Photoshop. If you have any questions regarding this post, please let me know in the comment section below. Thanks for reading!