How to Move Layer Elements in Photoshop CS6 - dummies

How to Move Layer Elements in Photoshop CS6

By Barbara Obermeier

Photoshop CS6 has made moving layer elements simple. To move an image on a layer, first select that layer in the Layers panel and then just drag it with the Move tool located in the Tools panel; it doesn’t get any simpler than that. Here are a few more handy tips when moving an image and using the Move tool:

  • Move the layer in 1-pixel increments. Press an arrow key when you have the Move tool selected.

  • Find out what layer holds the element you want to move. If you have the Auto-Select and Layer options selected in the Options bar, select the Move tool and click the element. If you don’t have this option selected, then Ctrl-click (Command-click on the Mac) the element.

    Or you can right-click (right-click or Control-click on the Mac) the element. A context menu appears, telling you what layer the element resides on, and then enables you to select that layer from the context menu. It also lists the background layer and layers that are directly under that element.

  • Switch to a layer when you click with the Move tool on any part of a layer. Select the Auto-Select and Layer options on the Options bar.

  • Select the Auto-Select and Group options on the Options bar to select the layer group that the selected layer is in.

  • Display a bounding box that has handles around the elements on your layer. Select the Show Transform Controls check box on the Options bar. This box can be useful if all your elements are melting into one another.

  1. Choose File→Open. Select your saved collage file in the dialog box that opens.

  2. Choose Window→Layers to open the Layers panel.

  3. In the Layers panel, select the layer you want to transform.

  4. Choose Edit→Free Transform.

    By choosing Free Transform rather than Transform, you interpolate the image only once, rather than twice.

  5. Shift-drag a corner transformation handle to scale the image down to the desired size but maintain the proportions, which reduces the amount of distortion.

  6. If necessary, position the cursor just outside the handle until a curved arrow appears. Rotate the image the desired amount.

    [Credit: ©iStockphoto.com/Image mura #4475506, Image #3200044 and Image #6672627]
    Credit: ©iStockphoto.com/Image mura #4475506, Image #3200044 and Image #6672627
  7. When you transform the selection to your liking, double-click inside the transform box or press Enter (Return on the Mac).

  8. Transform the element that has a layer mask. In the Layers panel, choose the layer and follow Steps 4 through 7.

    Be sure to click the layer’s thumbnail and not the layer mask thumbnail. Otherwise, you transform the layer mask thumbnail, rather than the element.

  9. When you transform the selection to your liking, double-click in the transform box.

  10. Choose File→Save.

Just follow these steps to add more to a collage and rearrange the layers:

  1. Choose File→Open and select your collage file. Also open another image.

  2. Choose Window→Layers to open the Layers panel if it isn’t already visible.

  3. Select the desired element in the supporting image.

  4. Contract and feather the image’s edges and use the Move tool to drag the selection into the collage file.

    Use consistent values for modifying and feathering all the selections in this composite.

  5. Position and transform the selection, as needed.

    Follow the directions provided in the preceding steps list.

  6. In the Layers panel, rearrange your layers, if needed, by selecting a layer and dragging it above another layer.

    [Credit: ©iStockphoto.com/Image mura #4475506, Image #3200044, Image #6672627 and 101cats Imag
    Credit: ©iStockphoto.com/Image mura #4475506, Image #3200044, Image #6672627 and 101cats Image#15160833

    Because the layers are independent entities, you can shuffle them indefinitely like a deck of cards.

  7. Choose File→Save.