Duplicate, Hide, and Rearrange Layers in Photoshop CS5 - dummies

Duplicate, Hide, and Rearrange Layers in Photoshop CS5

By Jennifer Smith, Christopher Smith, Fred Gerantabee

After selecting a layer by clicking the layer name in the Layers panel, you can copy it, hide or expose it, or change the stacking order.

Adobe Photoshop Creative Suite 5 represents a selected layer by highlighting the layer in the Layers panel. The indicator paintbrush icon is gone in this version.


Perhaps you want to create a duplicate of a layer for your composite. This technique can be helpful for creating do-it-yourself drop shadows and for adding elements to an image, such as more apples in a bowl of fruit.

Alt+drag (Windows) or Option+drag (Mac) a layer to the New Layer button at the bottom of the Layers panel to duplicate it. Again, by holding down Alt (Windows) or Option (Mac), you can name the layer while you create it.

Control the visibility of a layer

Hide layers that you don’t immediately need by clicking the Eye icon in the Layers panel. To see only one layer, Alt-click (Windows) or Option-click (Mac) the eye icon of the layer you want to keep visible. Alt-click (Windows) or Option-click (Mac) the Eye icon again to show all layers.

Rearrange the stacking order

Layers are like clear pieces of film lying on top of each other. Change the stacking order of the layers in the Layers panel by dragging a layer until you see a black separator line appear, indicating that you’re dragging the layer to that location. You can also use these useful commands to help move a layer:

Command Windows Shortcut Mac Shortcut
Move selected layer up Ctrl+] Command+]
Move selected layer down Ctrl+[ Command +[