How to Rearrange a Photo Layer in Paint Shop Pro

You can use your digital camera and computer to create stunning images, but to master digital photo editing, you must first learn how to create, manipulate and edit each photo layer. Professional photographers use layers to enhance and improve their photographs. In Corel Paint Shop Pro, layers are a digital form of tracing paper. In editing software, they allow you to make changes while being able to protect the contents of the original photo.

Step 1 - Open the Image

Open Paint Shop Pro and either open the digital photo, or use the Acquire tools to load an image directly from a digital camera or scanner. Opening an image will be easiest when using PSP's Browse feature. When the image loads for the first time, you will notice that there is only one layer called Background.

Step 2 - Prepare the Workspace

The Paint Shop Pro workspace is very flexible and consists of a range of different tools and palettes. When dealing with layers, you must ensure that the Layers palette is visible. To open it, click View, Palettes and then Layers. Also spend the time displaying other tools and features required to enhance your photo.

Step 3 - Create New Layers

To create a new layer, click the New Layer button on the Layers palette. This will create a layer on top of the background layer. When the new layer is selected, any changes will not affect the layers underneath it. Experiment with how layers work, clicking different layers in the layers palette will allow you to edit different layers.

Step 4 - Rename Layers

Whenever you create a new layer it's good practice to rename it so that you know what it's doing. Complicated photos can consist of dozens of layers, and so renaming them will make your work much easier. Give each layer a name that will help you remember it. For example, when you work with the eyes in the photograph, name the layer Eyes.

Step 4 - Re-Organize Layers

The order that the layers appear in is very important, the higher up the list they are the closer they are to the surface. The layers can be moved around simply by clicking and dragging them. This makes it possible to change the importance of each layer.

Step 5 - Adjust Layers

You can make various adjustments to each layer. These include opacity, color balance and blend modes. The opacity will affect the transparency of the layer and allow things from other layers to shine through.

Step 6 - Merge Layers

Before you save your finished image as a JPG, BMP or GIF file, you will need to first flatten the image. You can only save the layers if you save this as a Paint Shop Pro file. Flattening the image will remove all of the layers and put everything into the background layer.

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