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Select Layers Without Using the Layers Panel

Panels have their purpose, but they can also obstruct the view of your Photoshop canvas. Oftentimes, you don’t actually need to show a panel in order to use it. That’s right, you can select normal layers without ever touching the Layers panel.

As you probably know, layers enable you to organize and selectively manipulate content. But, before you can edit an item in a multilayered document, you must first select its layer.

To select an item’s layer:

  1. Select the Move tool in the Tools panel.
  2. Click the Auto Select Layer check box on the tool options bar.
  3. Click on the area you want to edit to automatically select its layer.

Alternately, you can skip the step that switches you to the Move tool, and simply [command][control]-click ([Ctrl]-right-click in Windows) on the object. Then, choose its layer from the resulting context menu.

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