As you add layers to an image, it’s helpful to give them names that reflect their content. Descriptive names make layers easy to identify in the panel.
Rename a layer or group
Assign a color to a layer or group
Color coding layers and groups helps you locate related layers in the Layers panel.
- (CC, CS6) Right-click the layer or group and choose a color.
- (CS5) Select a layer or group, choose Layer Properties or Group Properties from the Layers menu. Then choose a color from the Color pop-up menu, and click OK.
You cannot use the painting tools or filters on layers that contain vector data (such as type layers, shape layers, vector masks, or Smart Objects) and generated data (such as fill layers). However, you can rasterize these layers to convert their contents into a flat, raster image.
Delete a layer or group
To quickly delete empty layers, choose File > Scripts > Delete All Empty Layers.
- To delete with a confirmation message, click the Delete icon . Alternatively, choose Layers > Delete > Layer or Delete Layer or Delete Group from the Layers panel menu.
- To delete the layer or group without confirmation, drag it to the Delete icon , Alt-click (Windows) or Option-click (Mac OS) the Delete icon, or press the Delete key.
To delete linked layers, select a linked layer, choose Layer > Select Linked Layers, and then delete the layers.
When you have finalized the content of layers, you can merge them to reduce the size of your image files. When you merge layers, the data on the top layers replaces any data it overlaps on the lower layers. The intersection of all transparent areas in the merged layers remains transparent.
You cannot use an adjustment or fill layer as the target layer for a merge.
In addition to merging layers, you can stamp them. Stamping allows you to merge the contents of more than one layer into a target layer while leaving the other layers intact.
When you save a merged document, you cannot revert back to the unmerged state; the layers are permanently merged.
You can merge two adjacent layers or groups by selecting the top item and then choosing Layer > Merge Layers. You can merge linked layers by choosing Layer > Select Linked Layers, and then merging the selected layers. You can merge two 3D layers by choosing Layer > Merge Layers; they will share the same scene and the top layer will inherit the bottom layer 3D properties (the camera views must be the same for this to be enabled).
For more information on clipping masks, see Mask layers with clipping masks.
When you stamp multiple selected layers or linked layers, Photoshop creates a new layer containing the merged content.
Flattening reduces file size by merging all visible layers into the background and discarding hidden layers. Any transparent areas that remain are filled with white. When you save a flattened image, you cannot revert back to the unflattened state; the layers are permanently merged.
Converting an image between some color modes flattens the file. Save a copy of your file with all layers intact if you want to edit the original image after the conversion.