When working on an image with multiple layers, you need to make sure to select the one you’d like to edit. For example, when applying effects, adjustments, retouching a layer, or doing just about anything else, most of the time, the tools will affect just your active layer.
When using certain tools, such as the Arrange, Style, and Type tools, you can also select multiple layers and the changes you make will affect every selected layer.
You can select a layer from the Layers sidebar or simply click it on the canvas.
To select a layer in the Layers sidebar, find it in the list of layers and click to select. Choose View > Show Layers or press+ if the Layers sidebar isn’t visible.
To select a layer directly in your image, first select the Arrange tool (choose Tools > Arrange or press thekey on your keyboard), then click a layer to select it.
If you're unable to select a layer directly in your image, make sure the automatic layer selection is turned on in the Arrange tool options. See "Turn automatic layer selection on or off" below to learn how.
Select multiple contiguous layers: In the Layers sidebar, click any layer to select it (choose View > Show Layers if the Layers sidebar isn’t visible), then – click any other layer. Every layer in between those two layers will also be selected.
Select multiple noncontiguous layers: In the Layers sidebar, click any layer to select it (choose View > Show Layers if the Layers sidebar isn’t visible), then– click any other layers you’d like to select.
Select multiple layers directly in your image: Select the Arrange tool (choose Tools > Arrange or press thekey on your keyboard), then click a layer to select it and – click any other layers you’d like to select.
Drag-select multiple layers: Select the Arrange tool (choose Tools > Arrange or press thekey on your keyboard) and make sure Auto Select is turned on. Then, click and drag over the layers you’d like to select. Note that you might need to lock the background layer if you don't want it to be selected.
To select all the layers in the Layers sidebar.
Some layers in your document may be grouped. When you select a layer group, all the layers within that group are automatically selected. To select the individual layers in a group, you need to expand it first.
In the Layers sidebar, click the disclosure arrow next to the group layer (choose View > Show Layers or press + if the Layers sidebar isn’t visible).
Click a layer to select it.
Whenever you use the Arrange tool to click or drag on the canvas, the uppermost layer is automatically selected and edited. However, it is sometimes useful to turn off automatic layer selection so you can, for example, move a layer below another layer directly on the canvas without selecting the upper layer.
To turn automatic layer selection on or off:
Choose the Arrange tool by doing one of the following:
Tool Options pane and select or deselect Auto Select there.– click anywhere in the image and choose Auto Select from the shortcut menu. Alternatively, scroll to the bottom of the
In the Auto Select pop-up menu, choose Layer to automatically select individual layers in a composition, or Groups to select entire layer groups.