How to Select a Layer in Photoshop


This wikiHow article teaches you how to select a layer in Photoshop. When working on a project, the number of layers can add up quickly. As well as scrolling through the Layers tab to find the layer you want, you can also easily select a layer by zooming in on your image.

Part 1
Selecting a Layer with Your Mouse

Selecting a Layer with Your Mouse on How to Select a Layer in Photoshop

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Double click on photoshop to open it. The icon looks like "Ps" in a blue square.

Selecting a Layer with Your Mouse on How to Select a Layer in Photoshop

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PSD file you want to work on. If you don’t already have the Photoshop file open, click “File” from the menu and then click “Open” to browse your Photoshop files. Select the file you want to work on and click “Open.”

Selecting a Layer with Your Mouse on How to Select a Layer in Photoshop

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If you're using Windows, hold down Alt and use the mouse’s scroll wheel to zoom. If you're on a Mac, pinch on the keyboard to zoom in.

Selecting a Layer with Your Mouse on How to Select a Layer in Photoshop

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Put your mouse over the area you want to edit. Then, hold down the Alt or Control key and click on the image.

Selecting a Layer with Your Mouse on How to Select a Layer in Photoshop

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When you do this, you will see the layer you selected displayed in the “Layers” tab on the right side of the screen.

Part 2
Finding a Layer in the Layers Panel

Finding a Layer in the Layers Panel on How to Select a Layer in Photoshop

1
Double click on photoshop to open it. The icon looks like "Ps" in a blue square.

Finding a Layer in the Layers Panel on How to Select a Layer in Photoshop

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PSD file you want to work on. Double click on the file to open it in Photoshop.

Finding a Layer in the Layers Panel on How to Select a Layer in Photoshop

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The Layers Panel should be in the menu on the right side of the screen. It will take up the bottom half of the menu. Click on the Layers tab next to "Channels" and "Paths" to select it. If you cannot find the Layers Panel or previously closed it, press the F7 key and it should reappear.

Finding a Layer in the Layers Panel on How to Select a Layer in Photoshop

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Finding a Layer in the Layers Panel on How to Select a Layer in Photoshop

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If you have a lot of layers to sort through, it’s easiest to use the search function. You can find ‘’’Kind’’’ directly beneath the word ‘’’Layers’’’ and next to a magnifying glass icon. Clicking on it will bring up a drop-down menu. Click on Name. It should be second down on the drop-down menu. Clicking on this option will bring up a text box to the right. Type in a layer name. This text box can be used just like any search bar. If you know what your layer is titled, you can type it in to narrow your search. This is especially useful if you have detailed titles for your layers.

Finding a Layer in the Layers Panel on How to Select a Layer in Photoshop

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A layer that's displayed on the image will have an eye icon to the left of the preview in the layers menu. Click the checkered square button next to Lock: to set a layer so you can't edit it.