A Marketers Guide to Photoshop Layers

Updated: Nov 28, 2019

Introducing Layers


Photoshop is fast becoming a fundamental tool in a marketers arsenal. To be a great marketer knowing Adobe Photoshop is not only extremely valuable, but becoming essential for marketing success.


Creating engaging visual content, fit for multiple platforms is key for social media marketing success and learning the basics is easier than you think. Upon opening up the adobe suite, it’s not surprising many feel intimidated by this sophisticated program, however learning the basics and getting to grips with some of the shortcuts can up your marketing game and ultimately, speed up your workflow.



It has been proven that 80% of the people remember what they see, whereas, only 20% of them will remember what they read.

With photoshop comes freedom. Add filters, resize your images, add effects such as shadows and bevels and get more creative in the way you create content. Apps such as Canva & Adobe Spark are great, however can limit the way you can arrange or place content in your design with limited creative options. Loading times and searching images can also be an issue inside the software and can ultimately slow you down.

It is better to fail in originality than to succeed in imitation. Herman Melville

Furthermore, with the ever-growing user base of apps like Canva for content creation, designs and design elements are becoming more recognisable. Original graphics, images and designs are being regarded as ultimately more valuable in digital marketing today and can set those apart from the competition as well as establishing a visual brand.

Learning photoshop means you have access to one of the most intuitive softwares available, the design world is your oyster, you have the freedom to create original infographics and edit stock images to suit your brand, you can even download fonts from the Adobe font market and efficiently utilise them in your designs.

There are also many sources to acquire photoshop templates with in software instructions, therefore, understanding how to quickly edit these layers and add your own elements means you can produce stunning designs and imagery at your fingertips.


First off, we will start with the most crucial element to photoshop’s software, layers. With a working knowledge of layers comes power. Navigating these with keyboard shortcuts will speed up your process tenfold.


Keyboard Shortcuts for Layers


Layers in photoshop are exactly how they sound, layering design elements to act independently of each other. The purpose being that the user is able to edit elements separately providing a streamline process when working with numerous elements in one design.


When working with layers, place each one on a separate layer, the stacking order decides whether an element is on top or underneath another layer.


New Layer - (Windows/Mac) SHIFT + CTRL + N

Duplicate Layer - (Windows) CTRL + J / (Mac) CMD + J

Layers to a Group - (Windows) CTRL + G / (Mac) CMD + G

Merge Layers - (Windows) SHIFT + CTRL + E / (Mac) SHIFT + CMD + E

Delete Layer - (Windows/Mac) Backspace Key

Select Multiple Layers - (Windows) CTRL + Click Layer / (Mac) CMD + Click Layer

Bring Layer to Front - (Windows) SHIFT + CTRL + ] / (Mac) SHIFT + CMD + ]

Send Layer to Back - (Windows) SHIFT + CTRL + [ / (Mac) SHIFT + CMD + [

Bring Layer Forward - (Windows) CTRL + ] (Mac) CMD + ]

Send Layer Backwards - (Windows) CTRL + [ (Mac) CMD + [

Show/Hide Layers Panel - (Windows) F7 / (Mac) F7

Scroll Through Layers - (Windows) ALT [ ] (Mac) Option [ ]

New Layer via Cut - (Windows) Ctrl + Shift + J (MAC): Cmd + Shift + J

Select all Layers - (Windows) CTRL + ALT + A (Mac): CMD + Opt + A

Undo - (Windows) CTRL + Z (Mac): CMD + Z

Unlock Background - Click the lock icon or double click layer.

Opacity - To adjust the opacity/transparency of a layer, click the opacity slider at the top of the layers panel.


Resize Element/Free Transform - (Windows) CTRL + T / (Mac) CMD + T

Zoom in/Out - (Windows) CTRL + - / CTRL + + (Mac) CMD + - / CMD + +

Fit on Screen - (Windows) CTRL + 0 / (Mac) CMD + 0


These are just a few of the shortcuts available to get you started with Photoshop layers. With more practice they will become second nature and ultimately speed up your workflow. How do you currently create content for your social media? Is there anything I missed? Add your own thoughts below and share with your creative friends.


Check out some of my latest stock photos perfect for social media posts.

Want to save time and eliminate some of that hard work? Get original, on demand content for your social media posting, monthly subscriptions available to spice up your feed and wow your followers. Stay on brand with classy content, includes infographics, images, fact posts and more. Look out for more posts on Photoshop shortcuts upcoming in the next few weeks, as part of the 'Marketers Guide to Photoshop Shortcuts' series.

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Zoe Butters

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