What Are the Types of Layers in Photoshop?

Photoshop layers can make your personal and professional life easier by saving time and giving you deep customization possibilities. Here are several types of layers in Photoshop and how to use them:

1. Image Layers

The original photograph and any images you import into your document occupy an Image Layer. You can also create a new layer by copying and pasting cool images from other folders.

  • Pro tip: Drag image layers up or down on the Layers panel to move them above or below other layers.
2. Adjustment Layers

By adding an Adjustment Layer, you can edit photo characteristics in a non-destructive, non-permanent way. If you decide later that you want to get rid of contrast/brightness or hue/saturation changes, just delete the layer.

To add this type of layer, go to Layer > New Adjustment Layer and pick one of the options. You can have as many layers active as you want. Adjustments only affect the layers below, so you can move them around to target specific images.

3. Fill Layers

To add a Fill Layer, such as a gradient to darken or tint a sky background, go to Layers > New Fill Layer > Gradient. If you set one of the gradient points to Transparent, part of the fill layer will have a see-through quality.

4. Type Layers

Create text in your document with this tool. Text in Photoshop is vector-based by default, so you can edit and resize it throughout the creation process.

5. Smart Object Layers

Convert any images, text or objects to a Smart Object Layer by going to Layer > Smart Objects > Convert to Smart Object. A Smart Object Layer saves the original form of any images in your document, tracking all changes made to them in a list below. At any time, even after saving the changes, you can undo them as far back as you wish.

Breathe Life Into Your Images

While Photoshop’s Layer commands are impressive, the key to stunning photographs is your imagination. Get inspired by the latest design trends and find your ideal stock photo or image at Shutterstock.com.

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