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Tip 6: Adding Layer Styles to the Styles Panel
The Styles panel (Window -> Styles) is a panel that contains a couple of preset styles that can be applied to any layer with one click. To add the Layer Style you created as a preset in the Styles panel, select the layer that you applied the Layer Style to, click the Create new style icon down the Styles panel, and type in a name for the Style.
It is important to check the Include Layer Blending Options box if you want to save the Style’s Blending Mode, or Opacity or Fill values. This will make sure that those values are modified whenever the Layer Style is applied to any layer, regardless of the layer’s original values.
Once you click OK, the new style will be added to the Styles panel. All you need to do to apply this Layer Style to any layer is simply selecting that layer, then clicking the style’s icon.
If the Layer Style dialog box is still open and you want to add the current Layer Style to the Styles panel, just click the New Style button to the right, and follow the rest of the steps as shown previously.
Tip 7: Saving Layer Styles
Adding the Layer Style to the Styles panel does not mean it is saved. To save the Layer Style as an (.asl) file, so that you can export it or share it, you need to click the Styles panel menu icon in the top right corner of the Styles panel, then choose Preset Manager.
In the Preset Manager dialog box, select the Layer Style you want to save, then click the Save Set… button to the right.
Choose the location you want to save the Layer Style in, then type in a name for the file, and click the Save button. This will create an .asl file that you can load and use anytime, even on other computers.
Tip 8: Loading Layer Styles
To load a Layer Style and add it to your Styles panel, click the Styles panel menu icon and choose Load Styles….
Navigate to where you saved the Style’s .asl file, select it, and click the Load button. This will add the Layer Style to the other presets in the Styles panel, where you can click it to apply it to any layer.
Tip 9: Layer Styles and Layer Masks
Applying Masks to layers that use Layer Styles will most probably give a messed up outcome, as Masks don’t interact with the Layer Styles as they do with the layers themselves.
For example, select any part of a Layer-styled object, using any selection tool.
Click the Add layer mask icon down the Layers panel to create a mask out of the selection you made. Notice that the Layer Style will be re-applied to the visible parts only, meaning that the Layer Style will be applied to the edges of the masked selection.
The same goes for fading effect masks, which can be created by clicking the Add layer mask icon, then adding a Gradient to the layer mask. You can notice some problems in applying the Layer Style for the partially transparent pixels.
To solve this issue, open the Layer Style dialog box (double click the layer), then check the Layer Mask Hides Effects box (under Blending Options – Advanced Blending). You can as well check the Vector Mask Hides Effects box if you are using vector masks.
The image below shows the results before and after checking those boxes.
Tip 10: Opacity and Fill Values
Opacity and Fill values might seem to have the same effect on normal layer contents. This, however, is not the case if Layer Styles are used. The Opacity value will increase the transperancy of all the contents even the Layer Styles.
The Fill value, on the other hand, will increase the transperancy of all the contents except for the Layer Styles. This gives you more control when using Layer Styles for creating transparent or glass-like effects.