Create a New Layer from Scratch in Photoshop Elements 10

By Barbara Obermeier, Ted Padova

If you’re creating a new, blank file, you can select the Transparent option for your background contents. Your new file is created with a transparent layer and is ready to go. If you have an existing file and want to create a new, blank layer, here are the ways to do so:

  • Click the Create a New Layer icon at the bottom of the Layers panel.

  • Choose New Layer from the Layers panel menu.

  • Choose Layer→New→Layer.

Note that if you create a layer by using either of the menu commands, you’re presented with a dialog box with options. In that dialog box, you can name your layer and specify options for grouping, blending, and adjusting opacity. Provide a name for your layer and click OK. You can always adjust the other options directly on the Layers panel later.

You can also use the Copy and Paste commands without even creating a blank layer first. When you copy and paste a selection without a blank layer, Elements automatically creates a new layer from the pasted selection. A better method of copying and pasting between multiple images, however, is to use the drag-and-drop method.

The Copy Merged command on the Edit menu creates a merged copy of all visible layers within the selection.

After you create your layer, you can put selections or other elements on that layer by doing one or more of the following:

  • Grab a painting tool, such as the Brush or Pencil, and paint on the layer.

  • Make a selection on another layer or on the background within the same document, or from another image entirely, and then choose Edit→Copy. Select your new, blank layer on the Layers panel and then choose Edit→Paste.

  • Make a selection on another layer or on the background within the same document, or from another image, and then choose Edit→Cut. Select your new, blank layer and then choose Edit→Paste. Be aware that this action removes that selection from its original location and leaves a transparent hole, as shown.