Layers

Merging & Flattening - continued

'Stamp Visible'

Clive R. Haynes FRPS

 

Stamp Visible 'Stamp Visible'

Once this feature was known as 'Merge Visible' (a bit more obvious really) and it's is another way of merging layers but unlike the methods above, the merged layer appears within the stack of layers. It's usually at the top of the layer stack but it doesn't have to be.

What use is it you may ask? Well it's very useful and I use it a lot. OK so it does increase file size by adding another layer but I think it's a price worth paying. I find 'Stamping (or 'merging) Visible' Layers to be invaluable when working on a complex image.

The 'Stamp' layer presents a composite of the chosen (visible) layers and the resulting merge can, of course, be treated as a single image layer. On this composite layer you can sharpen, clone, and edit in various ways - and perhaps experiment too, without affecting the layers that have contributed to the image to that stage. If you don't like the result, the 'Stamp Visible' layer can be deleted or should you wish to combine parts the layer with the layers beneath a Layer Mask can be added. You can treat 'Stamp Visible' just like any other layer. I frequently have two or three, or more, 'Stamp Visible' layers as I make intermediate 'summaries' of the image as the layer structure becomes more complex.

As an example, here's a fairly complex image and I wish to sharpen the picture but I'm not sure how much sharpening would be appropriate and it's a nuisance to sharpen each layer in turn. The easy way to make a 'Stamp Visible' layer is to activate (highlight) the top layer in the stack, then using a short-cut which involves four keys, Shift+Ctrl+Alt+E, the 'Stamp Visible' layer will appear as the new top layer, I suggest that the layer is named 'Merge' to avoid confusion later.

 

 

Note: In some earlier versions of Photoshop it will be necessary to first create a 'New Layer' (use the 'New Layer' icon at the base of the Layers palette), make this the 'active layer, then when the 'shortcut' is used, the 'merged layers' will have a destination - otherwise they'll simply paste-into whatever layer happened to be active at the time.
 
Above: The result of 'Stamp Visible' - All the visible (eye-icon, 'on') layers have been combined / merged into a new, single composite layer. The layer has been named 'Merge' to make it more obvious in the layer stack.

 

 
Next, we'll take a look at how Layers can be Renamed - Click 'Continued' below.....

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