Suppose you have followed my advice, and have created layers for each step your drawing. Now you have an object with a fill, an outline and text. You would like to move this object over a few pixels. The only smart move is to merge the layers so that all will move as one unit.
That is one solution, but it is not the only one, nor is is probably the best one. You can link layers so that they are seen as one unit, but you can still separate them whenever you wish to make a change.
To link, simply select the main layer (any layer will do, but it is easier all around if you use a layer that makes sense as the "main" one in the link group.) Click on the second column from the left (as shown by the finger pointing cursor in this sample) to create a link. The chain symbol appears to indicate that this layer is linked to the active layer, and will appear any time the main layer in the link group is active. Repeat for any layer you would like to have as part of this group.
To unlink any layer, simply click in the link area on the Layers palette again.
Linked layers can be moved and transformed as if they were one layer.
You can fill selected areas on each layer independently, and even delete one layer in a link group. (Note: If you change your mind, and use the undo feature, the link will not be restored and you will have to link the layers again.)
What's a merge?
Merging layers creates one layer from two or more layers. Once layers are merged, they cannot be separated into the original layers, so be careful with this command. If you are certain you will not need the layers separate again, position the layer you wish to merge above the layer you wish to combine it with in the Layers palette. Click on the flyout menu and choose Merge Down. The layers will be combined with the name of the lower layer remaining.
If you have linked layers that you do not require to be separate, choose Merge Linked Layers from the flyout menu.
You can also merge all your layers together by choosing Flatten Image from the flyout menu.
Please make sure that you will not require the layers separate before merging. I will often link layers for a while before I make the decision to merge. This allows a trial period before committing to the merge. Why bother with merging at all if separate layers are so much better? It is not hard to build an image with 20-50, or more layers. Scrolling through the list or CTRL clicking an object to select a layer can become time consuming on a complicated image. If you are certain that several layers may be safely merged, it is best to simplify your work.
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