Linda's Tip

Week of May 28, 2007

by Linda Sattgast

Merge Layers

Last week I invited you to send me tips about how you keep from "burning your bridges" in your page layouts. Specifically, I wanted you to share how you keep from making permanent changes that keep you from being able to retrace your steps if you change your mind about something.

Karen Watkins and Sallie K both sent me the same tip, and it's a good one! In fact, I use it frequently myself.

Press this shortcut key combination to get a merged copy of every layer that's visible:

Windows: Ctrl + Alt + Shift + E
Mac: Cmd + Opt + Shift + E

Believe me, you have to use two hands when using this shortcut, which will take all visible layers and combine them into one layer on a separate layer, leaving the original layers intact!

I like to use this shortcut when I'm creating paper using several layers with different blend modes and maybe an adjustment layer or two. If I want to apply a filter to give my paper an artistic look, I'll use this shortcut to create a merged layer so I can apply the filter to the new layer.

Here's another example where I used this short cut:

Portland Page

I created a background using 3 photos. (I teach how to do this in Volume 2 of the Scrapper's Guide video training series.) Then I made a merged copy of the three layers.

Portland Page

Next I typed a word and used the word as a template to cut the new layer into the word so I could change the blend mode to Multiply. The word crossed all three photo layers, so I had to create a merged copy in order to make this word.

Portland Page

Here's my finished page.

Try this tip out, and I guarantee it will become one of your favorites

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