Digital Scrapbooking - Working With Layers

By JustMommies staff

One of the first things you need to learn about if you would like to digital scrapbook is how to work with layers. Layers are exactly what they sound like. Each object in your work can be a different layer of your work. You can move the layers around overlapping them or placing them behind another layer. In order to do almost any digital scrapbooking project you will need to understand a little bit about layers.

The Layer Palette

Here is an example of a layered project. The first layer is the Background layer. Then the layers are followed by layer 1, Layer 2, Layer 3. You can have as many layers as you want. Each layer can be moved or placed in front or behind the other layer. To select a layer either right click on it or use the layer palette to select it.


The Layer Palette

You can click on the arrow at the top of your layer palette to see different options. You can create a new layer with your layer palette, change your layer properties, duplicate layers, or delete layers.   There is more than one way to do things with photoshop. You may find it easier to use the Layer menu at the top or right click on your layers to change properties, etc.

Optional: Naming your layers

 This is optional. You can leave your layers named Layer 1, Layer 2, etc. It is useful to name your layers if you are working with a lot of layers. Sometimes it can get confusing and naming them can help you to keep track of them.  

To name your layers, right click on the layer and you will see the option for Layer Properties. You can change the name of your layer under Layer Properties. You can also use the layer palette (see above) to select Layer propertiesChange your layer name to describe your layer.

Moving and arranging Layers

Notice in our example Layer One is arranged in front of Layer Two. If you want Layer One to be arranged behind Layer Two you can do that. Right Click on Layer One or click on Layer One in your layer palette This will allow you to arrange Layer One.   Then select Arrange from the Layer menu.You can choose Bring to front, bring forward, send backward, or send to back.Bring to front will bring your layer to the very top layer.Bring forward will bring your layer one layer forward.Send backward will send your layer one layer back. Send to back will send your layer to the very last layer.We chose Send backward and it moved Layer One behind Layer Two. Now the moon is on top of the cloud.Use the Move tool to move your layer around on the canvas.


Deleting Layers

You can delete any layer, even the background layer. Say you are designing a project and just don't care for the background color or pattern you chose. Simply click on the layer and delete it. You can use the trash can on your layer palette or right click on your layer and select Delete Layer. This will make your project transparent but you can easily add a new layer for your background.


Adding a new layer

To add a new layer use the layer palette Click on the arrow at the top and select new layer. (see above) Or you can use the Layer menu at the top and select new layer.It is a good idea to make every new element on your page a new layer, that way it can be easily edited. For example, before you use the marquee tool add a new layer. This way if you later want to change your work, you can just delete the layer. To create a new background layer, add a new layer, fill your new layer with a color or pattern, then send to back.