SLP curriculum guide #03 Layers Palette
Curriculum Guide Index

In Guide #01 we began with just exploring PSP and its layout. We also looked at some duplications of features/functions in the File Menu System and Toolbars. To become fully acquainted with all nuances of PSP time is required so continue exploring.


Palettes, (Materials and Layers and Tool Options are three of the more used palettes) provide the foundation for image creation and photographic enhancement. Each Palette has many features and functions that as learned allow for more intricate image creation and development. Keep in mind that learning all there is to know about PSP is a life long and exciting adventure.

GUIDE #03: Layers Palette

In Guide #02 we looked at the Materials Palette for various ways to set colors for our images. In this guide we will explore using the Layers Palette which allows us to create very intricate images by using layers for just parts or sections of the image.

A very important advantage of using layers is that we can manipulate just a part of our final image in various ways without changing anything else on any other layer. Thus we can test out various options, colors, blends, transparency, and even edit that layer as a selection.

Exercise #1: The Basics

Explore the basics on using Layers:

  • a. Use the HELP menu file and explore the section on 'Working with Layers' (excellent information about all aspects of working with layers).
  • b. Understand the 'types of layers' (Raster, Vector, Art Media) and when you would use each type.
  • c. Know the similarity between Right Clicking on the Layer (for the context menu) and using the menu item 'Layers' and what operations one can perform on layers.
  • d. Know how to 'Promote selections to a layer'. (More on this item when we explore selections.)
  • e. Explore the 'Using the Layers Palette' help item for a visual help graphic on the various sections of the Layer Palette. These various areas are used when creating particular types of graphics.
  • d. Know how to duplicate, delete, move or reorder layers.
  • e. Know where the transparency switch is located in the Layer Palette and how it functions to create a way to blend one layer with a lower layer. (Check in the Help Section on Layers, and the 'Adding Adjustment Layers' and linking to 'Editing Layer Properties'.
Exercise #2: One Advanced approach.

Blending layers is an art where dependent upon the Blend Mode used, the top layer will blend into the lower layers in ways which alter how the various colors of each layer will appear.

  • a. From Exercise #1 item e. click on the item 'blending layers' and then explore 'About Blend Modes' to learn more about this blending option.
  • b. Experiment with blend modes by creating an image with at least two layers, preferentially three layers and change the blend mode of the top layer first, then the middle layer.


  1. When completing a tutorial or series of tutorials, and having placed them upon your web page, post in the SLP Forum your completed work using this layout:
    • a. Name or Screen Name.
    • b. Web Site URL.
    • c. Version of PSP using.
    • d. List of Tutorials completed.
  2. From exploration of using layers and its options, post some of your unique results.
    • a. Indicate what you did so others can duplicate.
    • b. Indicate what option values.
    • c. Add comments on your results and findings of interest.
    • d. Share your questions and comments in the SLP Forum and your graphic results in the member Gallery SLP Album as well as in the Forum.


Curriculum Guide Index