When it comes to layer visibility, Photoshop is very flexible. You can easily show or hide layers selectively to get a better grasp of what’s going on in your project. You can toggle layer visibility for individual layers, or your entire project using the following methods.
To toggle a layer’s visibility in Photoshop, click the eye icon beside a layer to hide or reveal it. To hide or show multiple layers, click and drag your cursor over a series of eye icons to toggle them. To toggle all layers at once, right-click on the eye icon and select “show all/hide all layers.”
These methods cover most of the basics of toggling layer visibility, but there’s a lot more to talk about; including keyboard shortcuts! So let’s get into everything you need to know about showing or hiding layers in Photoshop.
How To Toggle Layer Visibility In Photoshop
If you can’t decide if a layer fits your project, don’t rush to delete it, instead, you can toggle its visibility on and off before making up your mind.
To do that, go to the Layers panel. You can find all the layers corresponding to parts of your project there.
If you can’t see the layers panel, press F7 to activate it. Alternatively, you can go to Window > Layers.
In the Layers panel, locate the layer you want to toggle the visibility of. To the left of the layer thumbnail, there is an eye icon to show the layer is visible.
The eye icon controls the visibility of a layer. When it’s turned on, you can see the object/image corresponding to that layer on the canvas.
As you can see, all the eye icons in my layers panel are visible, so all the objects corresponding to those layers are also visible.
To turn off the visibility of a layer, click the eye icon next to the layer thumbnail.
Once you click the visibility icon, it shows an empty block next to the layer thumbnail.
And the object corresponding to that layer will disappear from the canvas.
Click the empty square icon to turn the layer visibility on again.
How To Toggle The Visibility Of Groups Of Layers
Let’s say you grouped some layers in your layers panel. (To group layers, select one layer after another while holding ‘shift’ and then press Control+G (On Windows) / Command+G (On Mac).
Now, you have a group of layers instead of a sequence of individual layers.
If you want to turn off the visibility of all layers of a group, click the visibility icon next to the group layer. That works because all layers inside a group are sublayers from that group.
Notice the eye icons of the sublayers are still there, but they are shadowed because the visibility of the group layer is off. This also means the elements are not visible on the canvas.
To turn on the visibility of a group layer again, click the empty square icon next to its thumbnail.
How To Make Multiple Layers Visible Or Invisible.
Making multiple layers visible or invisible gives you more control over the layers you are working with.
You can click one eye icon after another eye icon to make multiple layers visible. Although this can be time-consuming when you have multiple layers. Instead, you can make multiple layers visible or invisible at once.
To do this, you can click and drag over the eye icons next to the layer thumbnails.
So for example, let’s say you want to turn on the visibility of a sequence of layers, like the example below.
Such as turning on the visibility for the rectangle layers 1, 2, and 3.
To do that, choose a direction in which you will drag over the eye icons. For example, from the bottom to the top.
Next, click the first eye icon (rectangle 1), hold in the mouse while sliding in the direction you chose (in this case, upward). Then, let go of the mouse when all the desired layers turn visible.
Use the same method to make a sequence of layers invisible.
How To Make Every Layer Visible In Your Project
Let’s say you accidentally made all the layers in your project invisible and want to make them visible again.
You can do that in two simple steps.
First, select all layers in the layers panel by pressing Alt+Control+A (On Windows)/Option+Command+A(On Mac)
Alternatively, go up to Select > All Layers.
Then, press Control+ , (On Windows)/Command + , (on Mac) to enable the visibility of all layers.
Alternatively, you can go up to Layer > Show Layers.
How To Hide Every Layer Except One
When working with multiple layers, it’s sometimes helpful to analyze a particular layer separately, so you can work on that layer without any distractions. Fortunately, you can do that by temporarily hiding all layers in the layer panel, except the one you want to isolate.
To do that, go to the Layers panel and locate the layer you want to isolate.
Then, click the eye icon next to the desired layer thumbnail while holding ‘Alt’ (On Windows)/’Option’ (On Mac).
All layers will be hidden, except that layer.
Repeat the steps to bring the other layers back.
This shortcut only works for one layer at a time. So if you click+hold ‘Alt’ (On Windows)/’Option’ (On Mac) to turn on the visibility of a specific layer, the next time you use this shortcut on a different layer, the first layer will be hidden. You can then use the shortcut on the new layer to make all the layers visible again.
Alternatively, if you don’t want to use a shortcut, you can do the following.
First, locate the layer you want to isolate. Then, place your cursor on the layer eye icon and right-click (on Windows) / Control-click (on Mac). In the menu that pops up, click on ‘Show/Hide All Other Layers’.
This will hide all layers except the one you want to isolate.
You can then repeat these steps to bring back all the layers that were hidden.
With these easy tricks for toggling layer visibility in Photoshop, you can take control over exactly which layers you want to see and when.