Last Updated on April 8, 2016
Layer Styles are special effects that can be applied to Layers in Photoshop, and change the appearance of whatever contents that layer has. You can use them to get awesome results easily and quickly.
This tutorial will show you some really useful, and time saving, tips and tricks for dealing with Layer Styles.
Tip 1: Adding and Modifying Effects
You can double click the layer to open the “Layer Style” dialog box, then click whatever effects you want to add, and modify the settings.
Alternatively, you can click the Add a layer style icon down the Layers panel (Window -> Layers) to go directly to the effect you want to apply.
Once a Layer Style is applied, a small “fx” icon and an arrow will appear to the right side of the layer. If you click the arrow, you can expand the list of effects used or collapse it.
To modify an effect, you can double click it from the expanded list, or click the Add a layer style icon then choose the effect you want to modify.
Tip 2: Disable Auto-Expanding the Effects List
Does it ever bother you that the effects list expands automatically whenever you apply or paste Layer Styles to one or more layers? Well, you can simply disable that by clicking the Layers panel menu icon in the top right corner of the Layers panel (Window -> Layers), then choose Panel Options…. This will open the Layers Panel Options dialog box, where you can un-check the Expand New Effects box. click OK, and that’s pretty much it!
Tip 3: Hiding and Showing Effects
To disable (hide) an effect without deleting it, you can click the eye icon next to it in the expanded effects list. This will make the effect temporarily invisible. You can hide more than one effect at the same time as well.
To enable (show) the effect, click the empty area where the eye icon was, and the effect will be visible once again.
To hide all the effects, right click the “fx” icon to the right, and choose Hide All Effects.
To show all the effects, right click the “fx” icon, and choose Show All Effects.
Tip 4: Removing an Effect
Sometimes, you need to remove (delete) an effect completely from the list, not only disable or hide it. To do so, click and drag the effect then drop it in the Delete layer icon down the Layers panel.
To delete all of the Layer Style’s effects, right click the layer, then choose Clear Layer Style.
Tip 5: Scaling Layer Styles
Scaling Layer Styles comes in handy so often when applying a Layer Style to objects that have different sizes. Instead of modifying the values one by one inside the Layer Style dialog box, you can scale them all together. To do so, right click the “fx” icon and choose Scale Effects…. In the Scale Layer Effects dialog box, you can scale the Layer Style up to 1000% or down to 1%. This is a real time saver.