Understanding the Basics - continued

Moving a Layer to a New Position in the Stack

Clive R. Haynes FRPS

Upon opening an image, the 'thumbnail' of the picture will appear on the 'Background' Layer. Initially, the 'Background' may be considered as a layer firmly fixed and 'locked' at the bottom of the stack.

When another image is added to the layer order for instance by copying and pasting-in, it automatically appears as a new layer immediately above the layer that was 'active'. The 'Active Layer' is highlighted in blue (if required, it's possible to change this default colour). To 'activate' a particular layer, simply click on it, it will highlight in blue and all functions will be directly targeted to that layer.

Moving a Layer to a New Position - above or below another layer
We frequently need to alter the position (or order) of the layers in the stack. Take for example a picture comprised of three image layers: 'Background', 'Layer 1' and 'Layer 2. It's possible to swap the positions of Layers 1 and 2 to change which image is overlaps the other.

The images below illustrate the effect of swapping two image layers to change how one overlaps the other.

The third example illustrates a change in Opacity for the upper layer to partially reveal what's beneath.


Layer 2 is behind Layer 1

To move Layer 2, Click & Drag Layer 2 to the 'join' between the Background layer and layer 1

Layer 2 is now in front of Layer 1


Layer 2 with a reduced opacity (to 60%) is in front of Layer 1
(Opacity slider control for Layer 1 has been adjusted to 60%)

Tip: It's not always immediately obvious when click-dragging the chosen layer up or down the stack, to know exactly when it will drop into new location. When dragging the chosen layer and approaching the destination, look at the dividing line between the two layers where the insert is to be made, the dividing line will become two parallel lines when the layer stack is ready to accept the layer to be repositioned. Once you see the double-line, release the mouse and the layer will slot into place. See below:

Moving several layers together: With several layers highlighted it's also possible to move them as a body to another position in the stack (same procedure as for moving a single layer).

The example below shows three layers selected, Layers 3, 5 and 6, (Ctrl + click each in turn) to be moved below Layer 2, immediately above the Background layer, this will hide parts of the image content on the chosen layers.

Below: The result of dragging & dropping Layers 3, 5 and 6 to sit between Layer 2 and the background Layer, parts of each image is now masked by the over lapping layers above.
Having gained an appreciation of the basic operation and some of the functions functions of Layers, let's move on to a slightly more complex arrangement and look at the 'Heirachy of Layers'. Click on 'Continued', below.........

Layers Continued

Layers - Contents Page

Know-How Contents
e-mail CRHfoto