Friday, December 10, 2010

Visual Layer Selection

I’m terrible at naming and grouping my layers.  It slows me down, and as quite a visual person, the layers palate with it’s tiny thumbnails often doesn’t help me find what I need, in order to select it.  So to quickly select a layer, or select multiple layers to move or group, I use visual layer selection.
For this to work, you need to select the Move Tool (V), and then up the top, check the “Auto Select:” box, and then select “Layer” from the dropdown, and then uncheck the box again.  If you don’t do this, the behaviour will select groups instead of layers inside groups, which can be frustrating. (you only need to do this step once)
With the Move tool selected (V), CTRL+CLICK (⌘+CLICK) on a layer on the stage to select it.  Hold down SHIFT as well to select multiple layers, or click and drag to select all layers your drag selection touches.
This method does not work for layers with very low opacity.  To select layers like this, RIGHT CLICK on them, and the list that appears will show all layers that your cursor is currently hovering over.
It’s also worth noting that when selecting tiny layers, the single white stroke around the edge of the move cursor is *not* the point that you should be aiming for, instead it’s the first black pixel on the tip of the arrow.  If in doubt, zoom.


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