A Detailed Guide on Layers in Photoshop

Beginners find it quite difficult to understand the layers in Photoshop. Layers help you edit your projects in partitions without affecting whole resolutions. This is a smarter way to save time and effort while working on complex designs in Photoshop.Multiple tasks that you can perform using layers in Photoshop include adding text to images, supplementing graphics, and pile images. You can set up the opacity of the layers accordingly.

There are different types of layers for performing tasks. These are image layers, type layers, fill layers, shape layers, and image layers. Learning all these layers of Photoshop is quite simple and can save you a lot of time and effort.

This article is a detailed guide on the types and usage of layers in Photoshop. Let’s start:

What are the Different Types of Layers in Photoshop?

There are five types of layers in Photoshop. Here’s the list of types of layers with their descriptions and how to use them.

1. Image Layers

Image layers in Photoshop are simple blank layers that you can create and add images to them. Once you add the images to the layers, you can make changes to the parts of the images without disturbing the other parts of the resolution.

2. Type Layers

Type layers are used for adding text to your images. You can navigate to the layers panel. Simply click on the type tool “T” button given on the left sidebar, and you have added the type layers to your design.

You can add the specifications of the text using the options given at the top bar or by clicking on the “T” button in the layers panel. This feature comes in handy while working with featured images or creating cool twitch layouts.

3. Adjustment Layers

Adjustment layers are used for altering contrasts and color schemes. To avoid any troubles, adjustment layers apply the changes only to the layers below them.

Every time you wish to implement some color changes to a specific element of the design, you can go with the adjustment layer to get the job done. You can undo the changes if you don’t like them without affecting the other parts.

4. Shape Layers

You can easily create shapes in your Photoshop design using the shape layer. The shapes created are based on paths and equations and are vector-based. Being not based on pixels, you won’t see any imperfection or tearing of pixels in the shapes. Instead, you can drag them up to the sizes you wish without any impact on the quality.

5. Fill Layers

For me, the Fill layer in Photoshop is of great use as it allows to add gradients or solid backgrounds to some parts of the design or whole segment. You can always change the opacity and use the blending mode from the layers panel. Similar to the adjustment layer, you can also perform other operations on the layer, such as editing, rearranging, merging, and duplicating.

Understanding Layers Panel in Photoshop

The layers panel is a significant section where you can have detailed insights on the layers used in the design and allows you to perform different operations on the layers. You can find the layers panel in the bottom-right section of your Photoshop window. Here is what else you can do with the layers panel in Photoshop:

Creating a New Layer

Creating a new layer in Adobe Photoshop is a relatively simple and easy process. Simply head toward the layer menu button on the top and click “New”. This will create a new blank layer with default settings. You can see your new layer in the layers panel:

If you want to create another layer from the existing part of the layer, you can simply select the elements of the existing layer and right-click. This will show you options for copying the elements into layers or cutting them. Add a name to the layer and save it. You can see a new layer in your layers panel.

Deleting a Layer

Deleting a layer in Photoshop is a simple task to perform as it can be easily done from the layers panel. Select the layer you want to delete. Click on the 3 horizontally lined menus on the top of the Layers panel and select delete:

Duplicating a Layer From the Layers Panel

Instead of duplicating a layer from the top menu bar. You can easily duplicate a layer from the layers panel. Right on the layer, you wish to duplicate. This will show you a menu with several options. Click on the “Duplicate Layer” option.

Filtering Layers

This feature comes as a time saver when you are working on a complex project and have plenty of layers in your panel. You can easily filter out layers based on their color, attributes, effects, and mode. Navigate to the top of your layers panel and click on the search bar. Here you can modify your search to find desired layers:

Grouping Your Layers

You can use this tool to organize your layers into folders. Click on the folder icon placed at the bottom of your layers panel, and your layers will be grouped into a folder. At any time, you can drag out your layers using drag-and-drop. Alternatively, you can also press “Ctrl+G” to group your layers:

Here are the following details on layers you need to know:

Visibility: To make your layer invisible, you can click on the eye icon given before the layer. And click again on it to make your layer visible.

Opacity: You can set the opacity of your layers by moving the slider. Moving toward zero makes the layer transparent.

Lock/Unlock: The padlock icon given at the bottom of your layers panel locks your selected layer and prevents it from further editing. Clicking again on the icon will unlock the layer.


We have mentioned every major detail that any beginner needs to learn about layers. Most of us, when at the beginner level, find it quite confusing while working on layers and applying effects to them.

Also, I would like to mention that there are multiple shortcuts and ways to use layers. So, if you come across another method for performing the same job, you are probably right.

I hope you loved reading this article. Check out other Linux Hint articles for more tips and information.

About the author

Vishal Sharma

A graphic design enthusiast who loves to teach design. Working on design simulation these days. A teetotaller and Nomadic.