Managing layers and groups keeps your project organized. You can rename layers, color-code to easily locate similar layers, and delete and export layers as needed.
As you add layers or layer groups to an image, it’s helpful to give them names that reflect their content. Descriptive names make layers easy to identify in the Layers panel.
Color coding layers and groups helps you locate related layers in the Layers panel. Simply right-click the layer or group and select a color.
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.
Rasterizes the type on a type layer. It does not rasterize any other vector data on the layer.
Rasterizes a shape layer.
Rasterizes the fill of a shape layer, leaving the vector mask.
Rasterizes the vector mask on a layer, turning it into a layer mask.
Converts a Smart Object into a raster layer.
Rasterizes the current video frame to an image layer.
3D (Extended only)
Rasterizes the current view of 3D data into a flat raster layer.
Rasterizes all vector data on the selected layers.
Rasterizes all layers that contain vector and generated data.
To rasterize linked layers, select a linked layer, choose Layer > Select Linked Layers, and then rasterize the selected layers.
Deleting layers you no longer need reduces the size of your image file.
To quickly delete empty layers, choose File > Scripts > Delete All Empty Layers.
To delete linked layers, select a linked layer, choose Layer > Select Linked Layers, and then delete the layers.
You can export all layers or visible layers to separate files.
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.
A visible layer must be selected to enable the Merge Visible command.
When you stamp multiple selected layers or linked layers, Photoshop creates a new layer containing the merged content.
To stamp all visible layers, do the following:
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.