The Layers panel lets you work with layers (sets of pixels which can be edited separately) and groups of layers.

Layers Panel Layers Panel

The panel contains a list of layers. It remains empty until you open an image or create a new document.

The active (editable) layer is highlighted in gray. To select another layer, click its name or thumbnail. To select multiple layers, click them while holding down Ctrl. To select multiple contiguous layers, click the first layer and then Shift-click the last layer.

To rename a layer, double-click the layer's name next to it's thumbnail, then type a new name and press Enter.

You can change the thumbnail size by pressing the button at the top of the Layers panel.

To the left of a layer’s thumbnail is a visibility icon /, which allows you to turn the visibility of a layer on or off. Editing tools cannot be used on a layer when its visibility is turned off. To toggle a layer’s visibility, left-click the icon.

There are several layer types:

You can change the order of the layers by dragging them up and down in the panel.

Right-clicking on a layer opens a menu of commands. The available menu items depend on the layer type and the number of selected layers.



The Lock icon next to each layer prevents the layer from further editing. Click on the icon to select a lock mode.

Lock Modes Lock Modes


Double-clicking on a layer’s thumbnail opens the Blending Options menu. Close the menu by pressing Esc (changes will be ignored) or by clicking outside of the menu window (changes will be saved).

The Blending Options menu looks like this:

Layer Blending Options


The buttons at the bottom of the panel are used as follows: