Using Layers In Paint Shop Pro 7

One of the most useful tools in Paint Shop Pro are image layers. Images can be constructed using up to 100 layers (if your computer has enough memory). Using layers allows you to work separately on different parts of your image without affecting other parts. For example, if you were to apply a drop shadow on a new layer you could adjust the opacity of the shadow without changing the opacity of the rest of the image. There are over 30 pages in the PSP help file concerning layers. Not including Vector and Adjustment layers. The following is a basic overview on the use of layers, simple enough to get you started. Please refer to the help file for information on the more advanced features of layers.

Paint Shop Pro 7 - Menus and Tools

PSP 7 Menu and Tools

How To Add A Layer To Your Image.

There are three types of layers available for you to use.
  • Raster layers.
  • Vector layers.
  • Adjustment layers.

    At this time we will only be concerned with Raster layers. Think of a layer to be like adding a clear sheet of plastic over your image (Example 1, on the right) and drawing on that. All layers apart from the background layer are transparent unless color is added to them. You can still see the original image through the clear layer but it is not affected by anything you do on the second layer. The original layer will be called the Background layer.
    To add another layer to an image

  • Go to the "Layers" Menu (See Example 2 above)
  • Click on "New Raster Layer" from the dropdown menu.
  • In the Layer Properties Box (Example 3 below) type in a name for your layer.

Example 1
PSP 7 - Layer Image

Example 2
PSP 7 - Add A Layer Menu

Example 3
PSP 7 - Layer Properties

This will avoid confusion when you are using a number of layers. Leave the default settings as they are and click OK. You now have a second layer on your image. Repeat this for every layer you require. When working with layers you must select the layer you wish to work on. (see below)

How To Work With The Layer Palette.

To access the layer palette:
  • Go to "View" Menu.
  • Go to "Toolbars" on the dropdown menu.
  • Click on the "layer palette" box and then click Close.
  • The "Layer Palette" Example 4 is presented.

Example 4

PSP 7 - Layer Palette

Right Click on Guitar or White to view layer image, see below:

PSP 7 - Layer Palette Example         PSP 7 - Guitar Picture

Using the Layer Palette (Example 4 above) you can :-
  • Select which layer you want to work on (Example below).
    Click on the layer title bar PSP 7 - Layer Palette Selection to make that your active layer.
  • Create a new layer.
    Click on the new layer PSP 7 - New layer Button icon. Then fill in the properties box.

    Another method of adding a layer.
    Right click on any layer title bar and choose New Raster Layer or New Vector Layer (See Example 5). As a shortcut to create a raster layer, you can click on the icon in the upper left corner of the Layer Palette.

  • Turn the visibility of a layer on and off.
    Click the layer visibility PSP 7 - Visibility Button icon to toggle visibility.

  • Change the order/reorder of your layers. Left click and drag your layer up and down the list.  Layers that are higher in the layers order will appear on top of layers that fall below.

  • Duplicate a layer. Right click the layer title bar and a popup menu (See Example 5 below) appears. 
    Choose Duplicate and a new layer will be created. Paint Shop Pro will name the layer with "Copy of" and the original layer name. It is a good idea to double click on the new layer and assign a name that identifies the contents of the layer for
    more efficient work.

  • Adjust the opacity of each layer.
    Adjust the slider PSP 7 - Opacity Slider to adjust opacity.

  • View what's on each layer individually.
    Hold your cursor over a layer title bar and a thumbnail image of that layer will appear.

  • Drag individual layers to your workspace.
    Left click and drag a layer to the workspace to create a new image.

  • Delete an individual layer. Click on the Rubbish Bin PSP 7 - Delete Button icon.

    Alternate way to Delete a layer (See Example 5 below).
    Simply right click on the layer you wish to delete and choose Delete from the popup window.

By right clicking on a "Layer Title Bar" you can access a menu (Example 5, on right) that allows you to:-

  • Choose what type of layer to add.

  • Duplicate a layer.

  • Delete a layer.

  • Rename a layer.

  • Access the layer properties box. Where you can rename your layers.

  • Access layer view options. View all or currently selected layers.

  • Select a method of merging (combining) layers.( see below )

  • If you Go to "Layers" Menu  > Arrange,
    you will find another way to arrange your layers (Example 6 below).

  • When pasting to an image, Go to "Edit" Menu > Paste > Paste as New Layer, to add a new layer to your image (Example 7 below).

  • Double clicking on the Layer Title Bar will bring up the properties box for that layer 
    (Examples  8 and 9 below).

Example 5
PSP 7 - Delete A Layer Menu

Example 6
PSP 7 - Arrange A Layer Menu

Example 7

  PSP 7 - Paste As A New Layer

Example 8

Example 9

PSP 7 - Layer Palette Example

Right Click on Guitar  for Layer Properties     Grey Right Arrow

PSP 7 - Layer Propeties

How To Merge Layers And When To Do It.

You can merge any number of layers together at any time if required.
  • Go to "Layers" Menu (Example 10 below).
  • Go to "Merge".
  • "Merge All (Flatten)".    This will reduce your image to one layer, combining all your layers.

  • "Merge Visible".    This will only merge the layers that you have visible at that time.
    (see above for toggling layer visibility on and off.)
    Also access the Merge command by right clicking on the Layer Title Bar in the layers palette.

  • Another Method to Merge layers.

    To merge the entire image, simply right click on any layer and choose "Merge All Flatten" (Example 10a below). You will be left with exactly the same result visually, but all your layers will have merged into one.

    You can also merge only the images that are visible in the document. To make a layer invisible, click on the eyeglasses near the center of the Layer Palette. An "X" will appear through the icon and the contents of that layer will disappear from the document screen. (Click again to make it visible again.)

    To merge several layers, but not all, simply turn off the visibility for any any layers you do not wish to merge. Right click on any layer and choose "Merge Visible". Be careful though. A merge cannot be reversed unless you can use the Undo command.

Example 10

Example 10a

PSP 7 - Layer Merging Menu
  • You will need to merge your layers if you wish to save your graphic in any other format except .psp format.

  • If you want to save your image with layers, .psp is the only format you can use.

  • Once an image or layers are merged, it is not possible to reverse this action unless the "Undo" command is used immediately.

  • You may wish to merge just two of your many layers while working on a image. Just make these two the only layers visible and select  "Layers" > Merge > Merge Visible.

Example Of Layers Being Used In An Image.

To look at an example of layers being used in an image:

  • Open PSP.

  • Open the Image Browser. (Go to the "File" Menu > Browser.)

  • PSP 5....Go to  C:\ Program Files\ Paint Shop Pro 5\ Images.
    PSP 5 users should have a "Wolf" image.

  • PSP 6....Go to  C:\ Program Files\ Paint Shop Pro 6\ Images.
    Open the Bottle.psp image.

  • PSP 7....Go to  C:\ Program Files\ Jasc Software Inc\ Paint Shop Pro 7\ Images.
    Guitar.psp or Jazzman.psp.
    (these are vector images, but the use of layers to build the graphic follows the same principle as raster layers).

PSP 7 - Back To Top Button

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Last Modified on Wednesday, July 21, 2004 12:09 PM