Learn how to use adjustment layers — one of the most powerful non-destructive editing tools in Photoshop on the iPad.

An adjustment layer is a non-destructive way of editing composites in Photoshop. Just like in Photoshop desktop, adjustment layers allow you to make edits in Photoshop on your iPad without hampering the original composite which remains available in case you want to restore it. Working with adjustment layers give you more flexibility with your edits because you are not directly changing the pixels of your composite. 

Add an adjustment layer

To apply an adjustment layer, do the following:

  1. Long press  from the taskbar to bring up more add layer options — New layerAdjustment layerNew empty group, and Paste as new layer. Select Adjustment layer.

    View additional add layer options.
    View more add layer options.
  2. Under Adjustments,  you can select any of the adjustment options — Brightness/Contrast, Black and white, Color balance, Curves, Exposure, Hue/Saturation, Levels, and Vibrance.

    View various adjustment options
    View various adjustment layer options.

    An adjustment layer and mask are created for the selected adjustment type.

  3. (Optional) You can tap an adjustment layer in the detailed layer view to rename it. Tap  from the taskbar, or from the detailed layer view to hide the adjustment layer.

  4. Tap  from the taskbar to bring up the Layer actions panel. Select Delete layer to delete the active adjustment layer.

Add a clipped adjustment layer

By default, an adjustment layer affects all layers below it in the Layers panel. With clipped adjustments, you can make your adjustment layer affect only the layer placed directly below the adjustment layer in the layer stack.

Apply clipped adjustments

To apply clipped adjustments, do the following:

1. Tap  from the taskbar to access layer properties. 

2. Under Layer Properties, tap Add clipped adjustments.

3. In the Clipped Adjustment Layer panel that opens, select any of the adjustment options — Brightness/Contrast, Black and white, Color balance, Curves, Exposure, Hue/Saturation, Levels, and Vibrance

The clipping () icon beside an adjustment layer thumbnail in the Layers panel represents that the adjustment applied is clipped to the layer beneath it.

Apply selective adjustments

You can apply adjustments to selective parts of your composite. Every adjustment layer includes a layer mask. While the white portion of the layer mask reveals or applies the adjustment to the layer, the black portion hides or masks the adjustment from corresponding parts of the layer. Use the paint brush from the toolbar to paint on the adjustment layer mask in shades ranging from white (reveals all adjustments) to black (hides all adjustments).