How To Select Multiple Layers In Photoshop

Adobe Photoshop is a widely popular and feature-rich image editing software that offers users an extensive range of tools and functionalities. One of the most common tasks performed in Photoshop is selecting multiple layers. However, if you are new to Photoshop, you may find it challenging to determine the right way to select multiple layers. 

There are several ways to select multiple layers in Photoshop. The easiest of them is to use the keyboard shortcut key command. Simply press the Control or the Command key on your device and click on the layers you want to select. Photoshop will automatically select all those layers for you. 

Read on to learn more about layers and ways to select multiple layers simultaneously.

What Are Layers?

The layers in Photoshop are incredible! They make applying various components and effects to photographs and projects easier. But what exactly are they?

One of Photoshop’s most valuable tools is the ability to build layers, separate informational slices that can be stacked or rearranged to create the composition of your image. You can draw, edit, paste, and rearrange components on one layer using layers without affecting the others.

Selecting Multiple Layers

With Photoshop, there are various methods for selecting multiple layers. Which approach you take entirely depends on you. The following are the approaches:

Move Tool (Auto-Select On)

  1. Clicking the crosshairs icon at the top of your toolbar on the left side of the screen will activate the Move tool.
  2. Click the checkbox to enable Auto-Select, then confirm that the layer is selected in the drop-down window.
  3. Now you can choose the layer by clicking on the image that contains it.
  4. While selecting multiple layers, click while holding down the “Shift” key.

Move Tool (Auto-Select Off)

  1. Choose the Move tool from the toolbox
  2. Right-click on the layer you wish to pick in the image.
  3. A drop-down menu displaying the nearby layers will appear once you click.
  4. The layer of your choice can then be chosen.
  5. It is useful when you have thin or overlapping layers that are challenging to isolate.

Shortcut Keys

The most straightforward approach to selecting multiple layers is through shortcut keys.

  1. Click the first layer, hold down the Shift key, and click the last layer to pick multiple levels.
  2. By doing so, all layers positioned between the two layers will be selected.
  3. However, what happens if you wish to choose several layers that are not adjacent?
  4. Hold Ctrl or Command while clicking each layer you want to pick, depending on your editing system.

Watch this video to see how the shortcut key works:

Types Of Layers

There are several different types of layers. Some layers are elements of the final image you create, while others are fill or adjustment layers, text or form layers, or layers with automatic creation. 

Let’s look at each layer individually before determining how to select multiple or all of them together.

Background Layer

The default layer that contains a picture when you initially view it in Photoshop is known as the “Background Layer.” You cannot use several filters and effects on the “Background Layer” as it is a protected layer. Background layers are always, by default, locked or protected. Here’s how you can unlock them:

  1. When you double-click a layer’s name in the Layers Palette, a dialogue box with the layer’s name and other details will display.
  2. If you’d like to alter them, click OK. Your layer will now be unprotected and ready to be edited.

Image Layer

Any picture-related information is contained in image layers. A new layer is always created as an Image Layer by default. A preview of the layer’s contents can be found in the Layer Thumbnail of Image Layers.

Adjustment Layers

Adjustment layers exclusively hold data related to picture adjustments and are always open to deletion or modification. Because they don’t alter the image in any way, adjustment layers are advised when making color and tone changes to your photos.

Adjustment Layers are incredibly adaptable because they’re simple to edit, mask, or remove. You can edit the Adjustment Layer by double-clicking on the Layer Thumbnail.

Type Layer

You can add text to your Photoshop document using the “Type Layer” by following these steps:

  1. Choose the “Type Tool” from the “Tool Panel” and click on the document area to add text to a picture.
  2. You can start typing by clicking on the document area to bring up the type cursor.
  3. The text can be edited by altering the font’s size, type, character, or color.

Fill Layer

Fill layers include patterns, gradients, or solid colors. Fill layers can be modified, eliminated, duplicated, rearranged, or combined. You can connect fill layers with other layers by lowering the opacity or switching the blending mode. Click “Layer” from the menu bar to create a fill layer and select New Fill Layer.

Shape Layer

With the help of Photoshop drawing tools, you may construct various shapes, and the layer you generate is known as a Shape Layer. You can draw shapes in your Photoshop project using many shape tools included in the Tool Panel. Since they are made up of lines and points rather than pixels, the shapes can be flexibly adjusted.

Keep Practicing

Now that you know all the methods of selecting multiple files, keep practicing these techniques to polish your skills and gain muscle memory. Try experimenting a little with these tips. 

You’ll quickly see how working with numerous layers simultaneously can significantly speed up your productivity.