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Adobe Photoshop: The Complete Guide Bootcamp

Lesson 20 of 118

Align Active Layers

Ben Willmore

Adobe Photoshop: The Complete Guide Bootcamp

Ben Willmore

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Lesson Info

20. Align Active Layers


  Class Trailer
Now Playing
2 Bridge vs. Lightroom Duration:06:39
3 Tour of Photoshop Interface Duration:18:21
4 Overview of Bridge Workspace Duration:07:42
9 Developing Raw Images Duration:30:33
11 How to Save Images Duration:03:37
12 Using the Transform Tool Duration:04:48
14 Selection Tools Duration:05:55
15 Combining Selection Tools Duration:07:37
17 Quick Mask Mode Duration:05:07
18 Select Menu Essentials Duration:21:28
20 Align Active Layers Duration:07:29
21 Creating a New Layer Duration:06:15
22 Creating a Clipping Mask Duration:03:02
23 Using Effects on Layers Duration:11:24
24 Using Adjustment Layers Duration:16:44
25 Using the Shape Tool Duration:04:39
30 Adding Texture to Images Duration:09:11
35 Understanding Curves Duration:06:18
36 Editing an Image Using Curves Duration:18:41
39 Editing with Blending Modes Duration:08:04
40 Color Theory Duration:05:59
41 Curves for Color Duration:16:52
42 Hue and Saturation Adjustments Duration:08:59
44 Match Colors Using Numbers Duration:16:59
45 Adjusting Skin Tones Duration:05:25
52 Clone Between Documents Duration:13:19
53 Crop Tool Duration:10:07
54 Frame Tool Duration:02:59
56 Paint Brush Tools Duration:13:33
57 History Brush Tool Duration:06:27
58 Eraser and Gradient Tools Duration:03:06
60 Blur and Shape Tools Duration:11:06
61 Dissolve Mode Duration:09:24
62 Multiply Mode Duration:15:29
63 Screen Mode Duration:14:08
64 Hard Light Mode Duration:14:54
66 Smart Filters Duration:11:32
67 High Pass Filter Duration:13:40
68 Blur Filter Duration:05:59
69 Filter Gallery Duration:07:42
70 Adaptive Wide Angle Filter Duration:04:43
71 Combing Filters and Features Duration:04:45
72 Select and Mask Duration:20:04
73 Manually Select and Mask Duration:08:08
74 Creating a Clean Background Duration:21:19
75 Changing the Background Duration:13:34
76 Smart Object Overview Duration:08:37
77 Nested Smart Objects Duration:09:55
78 Scale and Warp Smart Objects Duration:09:08
79 Replace Contents Duration:06:55
80 Raw Smart Objects Duration:10:20
83 Panoramas Duration:13:15
84 HDR Duration:11:20
85 Focus Stacking Duration:04:02
86 Time-lapse Duration:11:18
87 Light Painting Composite Duration:08:05
88 Remove Moire Patterns Duration:06:11
89 Remove Similar Objects At Once Duration:09:52
91 Replace a Repeating Pattern Duration:06:50
95 Warping Duration:11:03
96 Liquify Duration:14:02
97 Puppet Warp Duration:12:52
98 Displacement Map Duration:10:36
99 Polar Coordinates Duration:07:19
100 Organize Your Layers Duration:11:02
101 Layer Styles: Bevel and Emboss Duration:02:59
102 Layer Style: Knockout Deep Duration:12:34
103 Blending Options: Blend if Duration:13:18
105 Layer Comps Duration:08:30
106 Black-Only Shadows Duration:06:07
109 Create an Antique Color Action Duration:13:52
110 Create a Contour Map Action Duration:10:20
111 Faux Sunset Action Duration:07:20
112 Photo Credit Action Duration:05:54
113 Create Sharable Actions Duration:07:31
117 Scratch Disk Is Full Duration:06:02
118 Preview Thumbnail Duration:02:10

Lesson Info

Align Active Layers

Now, what I'd like to do is select the four layers that make up the top four images in this document, and so I need to find them, and I could look in the layers palette to figure it out. Or I could attempt to use that choice of auto select layers. The problem is, I don't want it on all the time, So let's figure out how to target on and off as needed. Watch what happens to the auto select option in the upper left of my screen. When I hold on the command key and a Mac control on Windows for the length of time that I haven't held down, that check box gets turned on. When I release the command key, it gets turned off, and therefore I can automatically switch which layer is active as long as them in the move tool And I hold on the command key. So that means I command click. When I want to make this layer active, I command click when I want that layer active, and therefore I can target layers as I please, but they'll never change without me purposefully holding down the command key and click...

ing But in my case, I need four different layers to be active at the same time. You can do that in the layers panel. Ah, a couple different methods. One is if I already had this layer active, and that's the last layer I've clicked on. If I hold down the shift key and click on another layer, it's going to select all the layers in between. The last one I had made active and the one I was clicking on when I had the shift key held down and I can add more hold, shift and click here, and it should extend it all the way down there to end up de selecting individual layers. I can hold down the command key and click that's controlling windows, and then I can toggle a layer so it's either selected or not for active or not, I should say so. That's how I could do it here in my layers panel. The problem is working in your layers panel. It's not always easy to tell what's in each layer. It's much easier most of the time to look within the main document window, so now let's figure out how to do that same thing using auto select layers. So remember, I have auto select layers up here turned off. So therefore, I have to hold on the command key and click control on Windows to switch to another document. But I want not just this layer active. I want the one next to it. If I just command click on it, it will switch which layer is active, but it won't make them both active. So here's what I do. Just add the shift key. So I'm holding down Command, which is controlling windows to say auto select, and then shift means add to or take away from what I already have. So we'll do that to the other layers that are here and now I have a total of four layers highlighted in my layers panel. Four layers are active. Well, when I have four layers active or just any time of more than one layer active up here in my options bar, I'm going to see options for aligning my layers. So if I were to click on this, it would make sure that the top edges of all those layers are in the same position. If I chose this, it would make sure the bottom edges are, or this one would center them vertically. When I want to do, though, in this case is to choose this option, and that's going to make sure the amount of space there is between these images is the same. So now we have the same amount of white space between them. I want to do the same thing to the images of the bottom. So now I need to select those four layers, and I could use the same technique command. Click on one layer to make it active than add shift. Click on the next one and the next one and the next one. But sometimes you have a large number of layers. Let's say that was 15 layers side by side. How could I get all 15 selected without having to click 15 times? Well, here's how it could be done. If you have an empty area in your document that doesn't really contain a layer, it's empty information you can command. Click as if you're using auto select layers, but then drag in. If you clicked within an empty area, then is the drag. It's going to select which ever layers this Breck tangled touches. So it should now make that layer active, this one, that one. Keep going and I could get multiple layers like that. And that was on Lee If I started my mouse in an empty area. The document and by empty I'm in an area that either contains what's known as the background. So if you look in your layers panel, this bottom, most thing that called background contains that or it looks like a checkerboard. Then I'm able to do that. I have those all selected. I'll go to the top of my screen up here where I find my alignment controls and I'll tap the one that equally spaces these horizontally. In this case, it didn't quite do what I wanted, and that's because I have mawr layers down there than I need. There were two layers that were kind of right on top of each other, and so I have more layers than I need in this pile. I'm gonna get rid of one of those layers. I'm gonna get rid of this one on the far right to get rid of a layer. Just click on its name in the layers panel and either click the trash can at the bottom of the layers panel or dragged layer to the trash can. Or if you're in the move tool. Just hit the delete key on your keyboard and you'll delete it. They don't move this over groups. Sorry. Move this over and then I'm going to select all those in, say, equally spaced them. I want to get these spaces a little closer together, so I'm going to get just one layer active, this one here, drag it over. I would say about their then get the other selected until it equally spaced them with the icon of the top of my screen. Then what I'd like to dio is now I want these two, ah, top and bottom rose to take up the majority of the width of my document. So before, when we brought over an individual layer, if we wanted to change its size, we used free transform, and when we did it change the size of just one layer. Well, if you have more than one layer selected like I currently have now, you can also go up to the edit menu, choose free transform and now you're going to be re sizing multiple layers so I can get those to span the width of my screen press returner enter. When I'm done, I want to do the same thing for the images at the top. I need to get them active. I can do that many different ways, but one of which was to hold on the command key, which means auto select layers. Click within this empty area and just drag across. Then I will transform free transform and get those to be spanning the whip press returner enter to say, I'm done now, I'd like to move this one down. I'll command click on it because remember, command click means auto Select layers and now we have that filling a good portion of our screen.

Class Description

All individual classes that make up this bootcamp are also available here for individual purchase.


  • Develop an understanding of how Photoshop works
  • Create your ideal workspace
  • Configure the essential preference settings
  • Set up Adobe Bridge and Lightroom for optimal integration with Photoshop
  • Navigate multiple images seamlessly


Adobe® Photoshop® 2020 is a feature-rich creative force, perfect for turning raw ideas into audience-wowing images. With Ben Willmore as your guide, you can master it faster than you think and take on a new decade of projects.

Ben takes you step-by-step through Adobe Photoshop 2020 as only he can. With an easy pace and zero technobabble, he demystifies this powerful program and makes you feel confident enough to create anything. This class is part of a fully-updated bundle – complete with 2020 features and more efficient ways to maximize the tools everyone uses most.

Whether you’re a 20-year designer or you’re opening the app for the first time, this is the perfect way to learn and love using Photoshop. From retouching to masking to troubleshooting, Ben unpacks all the essentials and hidden gems, while giving you real-world examples to drive each lesson home. By the end of the class, you’ll feel eager to make serious magic with Photoshop 2020.


  • Beginner, intermediate, and advanced users of Adobe Photoshop.
  • Those who want to gain confidence in Adobe Photoshop and learn new features to help edit photos.
  • Students who’d like to take ordinary images and make them look extraordinary with some image editing or Photoshop fixes.


Adobe Photoshop 2020 (V21)


Noel Ice

I am an avid reader of photoshop books, and an avid watcher of photoshop tutorials. I have attended (internet) several hundred of presentations. In the course of this endeavor, I have found my own favorite photoshop websites and instructors. Creative Live is probably the bargain out there as well as among the top three internet course sites. I have to say with great enthusiasm that the best Photoshop instructor is Ben Willmore. There are many great ones, but truly, he is the best I have come across, and, as indicated above, I have watched literally 100s of tutorials on Photoshop. I have seen all of Ben's courses, I think, and among them, this one is the best by far, and that is saying a lot, because that makes this course the best course on Photoshop to be found anywhere. I am going back and watching it twice. Not only is it comprehensive, but Ben is so familiar with his subject that he is able to explain it like no other. This is crème de la crème of Photoshop classes. I have been wanting to write this review for some time because I have been so thoroughly impressed with everything about this class!

a Creativelive Student

Wow. I cannot communicate the value of this course!! The true value in this course is how the instructor identifies workflows you'll need before you'll ever realize it, repeats important information without it becoming annoying, and explains the "why" behind the techniques so well that even if you forget the exact method, you can figure it out via the principles learned. Excellent value, excellent material, excellent instructor!!!


The short lessons makes it easy to find things. Clear explanations, structured content, great examples, handbook plus practice images - this class is worth x10 the price! I have seen many of Ben's classes and I'm so happy you created this one, love it