How To Link Layers In Photoshop

How To Link Layers In Photoshop

One of the most basic ways of keeping two different layers connected is by linking them. Learning how to link a layer in Photoshop is extremely simple and is a process that can be done in seconds. Here’s how to do it!

Why Should You Link Layers In Photoshop?


Similar to groups, linking layers allows you to connect two or more layers. This way, when you try to move one layer around your canvas, all other linked layers will move as well. Rather than merging your layers into a group, linking them allows you to have more independence in the layers panel.


Linked layers can be put into different groups or sections of your layers stack. No matter their position, they’ll still be connected when you try to move them around on the canvas. Ultimately, linking is ideal for keeping related layers together on your canvas while maintaining their independence in the Layers Panel.

How To Select Multiple Layers At Once

Before you can link two layers, you need to know how to select multiple layers at once. There are two main options you have to do this.

This first way is to hold Command (Mac) or Control (PC) and click on the layers you want to select. This is ideal for selecting several layers that are not in a series. For example, you could select the first, third, and seventh layer with this method.


The second way is to hold Shift and click between the first and last layer you want to select. This method will select all consecutive layers making it a better option if you need to select a large number of layers.


How To Link Layers In Photoshop

You have two main options to link layers in Photoshop. Both are easily accessible, and it’s up to you which works best for you.

– Layer Panel Method

With your desired layers selected, click on the chain-link icon at the bottom of the Layers panel. A chain icon will appear beside all highlighted layers to signify they’re linked.

– Right-Click Method

With your specific layers selected, right-click on any layer and select ‘link layers.’ Once again, a chain icon will appear to tell you your layers are linked, but this time with a slightly different technique!


How To Select All Linked Layers At Once

If you have several linked layers throughout different groups and levels of your layer stack, it’s a hassle to find them all. Fortunately, you can quickly highlight all of your linked layers with an easy shortcut. Just right-click on the linked layer and choose ‘select linked layers.’


If you want to find all your linked layers or group them in your Layers panel, this is ideal. This shortcut is worth keeping in mind when you link layers in Photoshop!


How To Add A Layer To Previously Linked Layers

If you accidentally forgot or just created a new layer, you can add layers to an existing link group. To do this, just click and drag the link icon to the layer you want to add.


Now a new link icon will appear beside this additional layer. It’s worth remembering that these icons will only be visible when a linked layer is selected. If you don’t see these icons, just click on any of your linked layers to reveal the chain icon.

How To Unlink Layers

If you don’t need your layers to be linked anymore, you can easily unlink them at any time. All you need to do is right-click on any of the linked layers and select ‘unlink layers.’ After doing this, all of the related layers will become unlinked at once.



Instead of using a group, learning how to link layers in Photoshop offers some significant advantages. By linking layers, you can keep related layers connected while keeping them independent in your Layers Panel. This is a huge advantage because you can have each of your layers sitting within different groups while still moving together on your canvas. To make the most of linked layers, it’s worthwhile to use groups alongside them. You can learn the differences between groups and linked layers in this post.

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– Brendan 🙂

Article By

Brendan Williams

Hey, I'm Brendan! I'm a professional photographer and photo retoucher who has spent the majority of his career shooting or retouching outdoor lifestyle and social media campaigns for brands like G-Adventures, xoxo Bella, P&G, Fitbit, Chevy, Tourism California, and more. These days I primarily focus my efforts on this site, creating guides and tutorials that I wish I had earlier in my career. Each week I publish new tutorials on Photography, Photoshop, Lightroom, and Canva to help you unlock new skills and bring your creativity to new levels! Everything you learn here is backed by real experience, so you can finally skip the fluff and focus only on what matters.

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