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Tips for Moving Layer Elements in Photoshop Elements 11

Rearranging layers in Photoshop Elements 11 images is different from moving the content on layers. Because the elements on a layer are free-floating on a bed of transparency, you can easily move the element whenever necessary. Moving the element(s) on one layer has no effect on any other layer and doesn’t harm the image.

To move an image on a layer, first select the layer in the Layers panel. Then position the Move tool (the four-headed arrow in the Tools panel) anywhere on the image and drag it to the position you want. It doesn’t get any simpler than that.

Here are a few more handy tips for moving an image and using the Move tool:

  • Move the image on the layer in 1-pixel increments. Press an arrow key when you have the Move tool selected. To move the layer in 10-pixel increments, press Shift when you press the arrow key.

  • Find out which layer holds the image you want to move or edit. If you have the Auto-Select Layer option selected in the Tool Options, select the Move tool and click the element. Elements automatically activates the layer that the element resides on. If you don’t have this option selected, Ctrl-click (Command-click on the Mac) the element.

  • Switch to a layer when you click with the Move tool on any part of a layer. To perform this trick, select the Auto-Select Layer option in the Tool Options. Be careful when using this option, especially if you have a lot of overlapping elements — you may inadvertently select a layer when you don’t want to.

  • Display a bounding box (a rectangle that encloses a selection or an image on a layer) that has handles around the elements on your layer. To do this one, select the Show Bounding Box check box in the Tool Options. This box can be useful if all your elements are melting into one another in an indistinguishable conglomeration.

    Keep this option selected so that you have essentially the same controls (scale, rotate, and so on) as when you choose Image→Transform→Free Transform.

  • Show Highlight on Rollover. Hover the mouse cursor on any element found on the canvas, and an outline magically appears around the element on your layer. Click the highlighted layer to select it and then move it.

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