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Adobe Photoshop - Loading, Selecting, and Transforming Layers

This guide will show you how to move images into layers and demonstrates multiple ways to select single and multiple layers.

Opening Images as Layers

  1. Select File, then Browse in Adobe Bridge.
  2. Select image/s to be added to a document.
  3. Click and drag images from Bridge window to Photoshop window to place them. Images will automatically be centered. 
  4. Resize each image to desired size. These layers are smart objects, so the quality of the original image will remain regardless of size.
  5. Press Return or Enter to place each object. 
  6. Repeat Steps 4 and 5 until all images are placed.

Selecting Layers

Using the Layers Panel:

  1. Select first layer by clicking on it in the Layers panel.
  2. Select subsequent layers by holding the Command (mac) or Control (windows) key. To select layers immediately next to one another, hold the Shift key while selecting the last layer in the desired selection.

Using Context-Sensitive Menus:

  1. Right click over area of an image to show layers underneath that image.
  2. Click layer from the menu to select it.
  3. Select multiple layers by holding down the Shift key while using the context-sensitive menu to select another layer.


  • While Auto-Select does exist, it does not include as many options as the other ways of selecting a layer. 
To Toggle Auto-Select On/Off:
  1. Select Move tool (V).
  2. Check the box next to Auto-Select in the top menu bar.
  3. Select layer by clicking on desired image.
To Select Layers:
  1. Select layer by clicking on desired image.
  2. Select additional layers by holding the Shift key while clicking. Only layers that can be seen, can be selected using Auto-Select.

Transforming Multiple Layers

  1. With multiple layers selected, choose Free Transform from the Edit menu, or press Command + T (Mac) or Control +T (Windows).
  2. Make modifications as needed. All of the Free Transform options will be applied to all selected layers simultaneously.
  3. Press Return or Enter when finished.

If you need further assistance please contact the Information Technology Help Desk at 920-424-3020 or

Keywords:"Opening Images", "Context-Sensitive Menus", Auto-Select, ps, "Transformation Edits"   Doc ID:64209
Owner:Richard L.Group:UW Oshkosh
Created:2016-06-17 13:38 CDTUpdated:2020-01-02 10:19 CDT
Sites:UW Oshkosh
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