It's 1997, and a designer is busily working at her desk. Her boss comes over and asks her to add a drop shadow to the company logo. In Photoshop 4, she opens the logo document and selects the opaque pixels of the logo layer by
Next, she creates a new layer and fills the selection with black. She then drags the new layer underneath the logo layer in the Layers palette, and nudges the layer a few pixels down and to the right. Now she blurs the new layer slightly by choosing Filter
Fast-forward ten years, and the same designer needs to do another drop shadow for the company logo. After opening the logo document in Photoshop CS2, she double-clicks the logo layer, checks the Drop Shadow layer effect box, tweaks the opacity, and clicks OK. Coffee time.
You get the message by now — Photoshop's layer effects and styles are wonderful time-saving inventions, leaving you with more time to think creatively, finish the job, and drink coffee.
Here are some other great advantages of layer styles:
They're totally reeditable at any point — much as type layers are, for example. If you decide that your drop shadow doesn't quite have the right "oomph" when you return to the document weeks later, you can change it in a flash.
Even if you change the layers content — for example, ...