Introduction to Layers and Groups

Layers and Groups help organize your projects whether you’re in the Photo Editor, Graphic Designer, or Collage Maker. The term Layers refers to items such as images, graphics, text, and basically any moveable item that can be layered on top of a photo, design, or collage. The term Groups refers to multiple layer items that you have grouped together. 

Creating a Layer Group

Step 1:  Once you have added a Layer on canvas, click the Layers & Groups (stack of paper icon) button in the bottom left corner of the screen. This will open all the layers on your project. You can also rearrange your layers by dragging the layer name within the Layer menu.

Step 2: Click through the layers in this panel to move onto a different active layer. Hold down the Command/CTRL key on your keyboard while you click on each item to select multiple layers at a time. You’ll see a blue dashed box around the group of items you’ve selected. 

Step 3: Right-click on your group of items and select Create Group from the menu options. You can then type a name for your group into the Group Name box that appears. This process can be repeated as many times as needed. To remove a layer from a group hold down the Command/CTRL key and click on the layer on canvas you wish to remove from the group. 

Pro Tip: Right-clicking on a layer, while it’s highlighted, lets you choose additional options for customizing the layer, such as duplicating, aligning, flipping, Bring To Front, Send To Back, moving forward or backward between other layers, and deleting the layer altogether. You can even add the layer directly to your Image Manager.

Step 5: Click the Groups tab within Layers & Groups to view and select every group you’ve created. When a group is selected, it will become highlighted. You can drag the blue circles around the dashed box to resize the items as a group, or drag the taller blue circle to rotate the items as a group.

Step 6: To ungroup items that you’ve saved, click on the trash icon next to the group name in the Layers & Groups menu.

To remove a layer from a group on the canvas, double-click the desired layer so that it is selected. Right-click and select 'Remove from group'. If your layer belongs to more than one group, select the group you wish to remove the layer from.

Managing Layers

In the Photo Editor, every project starts as a single background layer image. Once you start adding extra elements to an image, like another image, or a graphic or block of text, you're adding multiple layers to your project.

In the Collage Maker, your project remains a single layer until you add a text or graphic layer. In the Graphic Designer, a template will load with multiple layers. If you start with a blank canvas, the canvas is the first layer.

No matter what section of the app you are in, each layer can be edited directly, and you can move between layers to make edits on one without directly affecting another.

  • Lock layers to prevent editing on the layer or hide them to remove them from your canvas, so you can work on other aspects of your project.
  • Adding and editing layers can bring depth to your project and allow you to control each aspect of your creation to bring it to life. 
  • Cropping your images can be done as a layer once you add them to the canvas.
  • Add a Blend Mode or change the opacity of your individual layer to fit your aesthetic. 
  • Even add a drop shadow or glow effect to your layer within the Layer Properties. 

Pro Tip: While a locked layer cannot be edited, the layer position can still be adjusted in the Layers tab. Select the layer in the Layer menu and move the layer position as needed.

Managing Groups

If you want to manipulate multiple layers at the same time, you can combine them into Groups. This can be helpful if you’re grouping several different layers of text or graphics that you want to experiment with.

Looking for more inspiration? Check out another tutorial:

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