In order to keep your layers panel organized, you must actively implement an organization system or you’ll be lost in the layers forever (#LostInTheLayers). Ok, I’m being dramatic. All I’m saying is that I don’t want you to spend your precious time trying to organize your layers when you could’ve spent it designing more awesome things! Now, let’s jump into the six ways to organize your web design layers in Photoshop.
The Perfect Layers Panel
I present to you the perfect layers panel (*Tah Dah*). As you read the six ways to organize your web design layers below, refer back to this photo as a visual guide. Isn’t it beautiful?
1. Create Groups
If there’s one thing you should do to organize your layers panel, it’s creating layer groups. It’s all fun and games when you have like, four layers. Once you reach 10+ layers, things start getting messy. More often than not, you’ll start losing track of what certain layers are for, where they are, etc. Once you reach that point, it’s time to start making layer groups.
2. Name As You Go
Another way that you can organize your layers in Photoshop is to name your layers. It’s best to do this as you’re working on each one. Vague, non-descriptive layer names can really cause havoc in your layers panel. Naming your layers according to what they are (i.e. website logo, facebook icon, navigation background, etc.) will save you the headache of having to figure out what the purpose each layer serves to your document.
3. Color Label
We’re web designers, so I’m assuming we all love and embrace color! Why not use it as a way to organize your layers? Photoshop has a neat feature where you can color label individual layers or group folders. Use it!
4. Delete Unused Layers
THIS. Unused/random layers just take up space and crowd your layers panel. Delete all of those forgotten/useless layers from your layers panel to keep it organized.
5. Collapse As You Go
As you’re creating new layers in Photoshop, you want to make sure that the layer group is selected. That way, all new layers will be stored within the group folder.
6. Globalize Common Elements
This tip is MAJOR, so I’m going to repeat it: Globalize common elements in your document. For example, let’s say you’re using the same logo for your website’s header, footer, sidebar, and some other areas. If you place all of those logos in a single layer, instead of multiple layers, you’ll only need to look for that one layer to edit all of the logos in your document.
Globalizing common elements, like logos, will help minimize the number of layers in your layers panel. Thus, reducing redundancy and increasing organization amongst your layers.
Let’s Chat Below
Have any additional tips for organizing your web design layers in Photoshop? Leave a comment below!