This page introduces layers, selections and file types



A photoshop image file (.psd) can be made up of numerous independent layers which are overlaid on top of each other. When you add new text or an image a new layer is automatically added.

Check out the video below to find out more. Add images to a Photoshop file and play around with the layers as per the video



After layers, how to select different parts of an image is an important basic skill to learn. Some parts of an image with a solid colour background is easy but how about an oak tree? Slightly trickier to select all the leaves and branches! The good and bad news is that there are numerous tools and techniques to learn to help with selections. Watch the videos and practise.

Download image to practise

Download image to practise

We will be learn how to make more complex selections like hair in a following video.





When you save a composition in PS you will be given a choice. The default suffix is .psd

Image result for psd icon

When your image is a work in progress you will want to use this file type as it retains all the layers, filters etc intact.

Image result for jpeg icon

This stands for Joint photographic Expert Group. This file type will flatten the image. (No more layers)

As a result PS will give you a little warning. You will not want to choose this option if you haven't finished your work. JPEG's optimise an image by reducing the file size. It does a good job. However reducing the file size too much means you may start to see the pixels as jpegs are "lossy"


Image result for png icon

This stands for portable network graphics and is the preferred file types for images on websites. This is because it allows transparency; so a logo for example will allow a page's background colour to show.


This is for very large documents with big file sizes