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Inside Photoshop – Tips n Tricks

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Layer Comps – A web developers best weapon against layers.

Are you a dedicated web developer looking to try..I say try…to get a grasp on dealing with various website designers and their love of layers?

Not that I would know such an issue (cough cough), but I can sympathize with having to work in situations with others where the “love” of layers can be a daunting task to unravel. This is where a handy little used feature called “layer comps” can be utilized for some relief.

Here is an example most designers and web developers are familiar with:

Numerous layers. Poorly labeled. Not named. A layer for every effect. On and On. Trying to weed through a large Photoshop file with hundreds of layers can add tremendous time and cost to a project’s overhead. Developers need to clearly identify elements within a design file. They need to know what to slice out or duplicate in code. If there are so many layers to dig through, one can easily forget where they started…and what layers were on or off.

This is where using layer comps can quickly help some of the headaches. It’s not going to solve poorly structured Photoshop files…but it can help remember various breadcrumbs during the build-out process. At the beginning of the web designers built-out, it’s best to create a layer comp as soon as you open the final design file. This should ensure that all the design elements are in place and nothing gets changed from the approved look.

The layer comps panel can be found in your drop down tool bar under “Windows”.

From there select the new layer comp button toward the bottom of the panel.

Enter a description into the field and check off the boxes to retain all the various states of the current file.

Now that you have the base layer comp created, you can go about turning on and off layers to achieve the information you need for design elements.
If you need to go back to review what the original document state was when you first opened the file, just click back on the layer comp you created at the beginning.

Hopefully this can help reduce some of the confusion that designers present with their never-ending love of layers.
I’ll be back in a few with some more handy tips by looking under the hood of Photoshop. Feel free to drop any questions my way and I’ll help where I can.
[email protected]

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