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Photoshop Elements 6: The Missing Manual by Barbara Brundage

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Managing Layers

The Layers palette lets you manipulate your layers in all kinds of ways, but first you need to understand a few more of the palette's cryptic little icons. Some of the things you can do with layers may seem tiresomely obscure when you first read about them, but once you're actually using layers, you'll quickly see why many of these options exist. The next few sections explain how to manipulate your layers in several different ways: how to hide them, how to group them together, how to change the way you see them, and how to combine layers together.

Making Layers Invisible

You can turn the visibility of layers off and on at will. This feature is tremendously useful, if you think about it. If the image you're working on has a busy background, for example, it's often hard to see what you're doing when you're working on a particular layer. Making the background invisible can really help you focus on the layer you're interested in. To turn off visibility, in the Layers palette, click the eye icon to hide the layer. Click the eye once more to make the layer visible again.

Tip

If you have a bunch of hidden layers and you decide you don't want them anymore, go to Layers Palette → More → Delete Hidden Layers to get rid of them all at once.

Adjusting Transparency

Your choices for layer visibility aren't limited to on and off. You can create immensely cool effects in Elements by adjusting the opacity of layers. In other words, you can make a layer partially transparent so that what's ...

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