About layer styles

Layer styles let you quickly apply effects to an entire layer. In the Effects panel, you can view a variety of predefined layer styles and apply a style with just a click of the mouse.

Three layer style examples
Three different layer styles applied to text

The boundaries of the effect are automatically updated when you edit that layer. For example, if you apply a drop shadow style to a text layer, the shadow changes automatically when you edit the text.

Layer styles are cumulative, which means that you can create a complex effect by applying multiple styles to a layer. You can apply one style from each style library per layer. You can also change a layer’s style settings to adjust the final result.

When you apply a style to a layer, a style icon appears to the right of the layer’s name in the Layers panel. Layer styles are linked to the layer contents. When you move or edit the contents of the layer, the effects are modified correspondingly.

Once you choose Layer > Layer Style > Style Settings, you can edit the settings of a layer’s style or apply other style settings or attributes available in the dialog box.

Lighting Angle

Specifies the lighting angle at which the effect is applied to the layer.

Drop Shadow

Specifies the distance of a drop shadow from the layer’s content. You can also set the size and opacity with the sliders.

Glow (Outer)

Specifies the size of a glow that emanates from the outside edges of the layer’s content. You can also set the opacity with the slider.

Glow (Inner)

Specifies the size of a glow that emanates from the inside edges of the layer’s content. You can also set the opacity with the slider.

Bevel Size

Specifies the size of beveling along the inside edges of the layer’s content.

Bevel Direction

Specifies the direction of the bevel, either up or down.

Stroke Size

Specifies the size of the stroke.

Stroke Opacity

Specifies the opacity of the stroke.

Work with layer styles

You can apply special effects to a layer, hide or show the styles in a layer, and even change the scale of a layer style (for example, decrease or increase the size of a glow effect). It’s easy to copy a style from one layer to another.

Apply a layer style

  1. Select a layer in the Layers panel.
  2. In the Effects panel, choose Layer Styles from the category menu.
  3. Do any of the following:
    • Select a style, and click Apply.

    • Double-click a style.

    • Drag a style onto a layer.

Style icon
A style icon indicates a layer style is applied to the layer.

If you don’t like the result, press Ctrl+Z (Command + Z in Mac OS) to remove the style, or choose Edit > Undo.

Note:

You can also drag the style to the image, where it is applied to the selected layer.

Hide or show all layer styles in an image

  • Choose one of the following:
    • Layer > Layer Style > Hide All Effects.

    • Layer > Layer Style > Show All Effects.

Edit a layer’s style settings

You can edit a layer’s style settings to adjust the effect. You can also copy style settings between layers and remove a style from a layer.

  1. Choose Layer > Layer Style > Style Settings.
  2. To preview the changes in your image, select Preview.
  3. Adjust one or more of the layer style settings or add new ones, and click OK.

Change the scale of a layer style

  1. In the Layers panel, select the layer containing style effects you want to scale.
  2. Choose Layer > Layer Style > Scale Effect.
  3. To preview the changes in your image, select Preview.
  4. Specify how much you want to scale the effects. For example, if you are increasing the size of an outer glow, 100% is the current scale; 200% doubles the glow size. Then click OK.

Copy style settings between layers

  1. In the Layers panel, select the layer containing the style settings you want to copy.
  2. Choose Layer > Layer Style > Copy Layer Style.
  3. Select the destination layer in the Layers panel, and choose Layer > Layer Style > Paste Layer Style.

Remove a layer style

  1. In the Layers panel, select the layer containing the style you want to remove.
  2. Choose Layer > Layer Style > Clear Layer Style.

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