How to Link Two Layers in Photoshop CS5

Last updated: April 9, 2019

The option to create and edit objects in layers is one of the most appealing parts of Adobe Photoshop CS5. You can separate different parts of your images on to two separate layers and make changes to isolated parts of your image without affecting the rest of the design. However, sometimes you want to make certain changes to multiple layers at the same time, which can be tedious to perform on each layer individually.

Photoshop provides a solution to this problem by allowing you to link two layers together so that they can be adjusted simultaneously. Linked layers are also kept in the same position relative to one another, which makes the process of moving objects that are stored on different layers much simpler.

How to Link Layers in Photoshop

  1. Select the first layer to link.
  2. Hold down the Ctrl key on your keyboard, then click the next layer.
  3. Click the Link Layers icon at the bottom of the Layers panel.

For additional information, including pictures for each step, you can continue to the next section.

Apply a Layer Link to Two Layers in Photoshop

Linking two layers will allow you to make certain changes to both of the linked layers. For example, if you want to transform a linked layer, then any transformation you apply to your layer will be applied to the linked layers as well. Additionally, if you move an object on a linked layer, the layers linked to it will be moved as well, while retaining their relationship to the moved layer.

Begin the process of linking your layers by opening your Photoshop file in Photoshop CS5. Your Layers panel should be displayed by default but, if it is not, you can click Window at the top of the screen, then click the Layers option.

Click the first layer in the Layers panel that you want to include in the link.

click the first layer you want to link

Hold down the Ctrl key on your keyboard, then click the layer that you want to link to the first selected layer.

how to link two layers in photoshop cs5

Click the Link Layers icon at the bottom of the Layers panel to link the two selected layers together. Note that you can apply this same procedure to more than two layers as well. You can also link two selected layers by right-clicking the selected layers, then clicking the Link Layers option on the shortcut menu.

Note that when layers are linked in a Photoshop file, the link icon will appear to the right of the layer name.

You can unlink layers by selecting one of the linked layers, then clicking the Link Layers button at the bottom of the Layers panel again.

Ready to add some more layers to your Photoshop file, but struggling to do so? Find out how to add a new layer in Photoshop so that you can edit objects on that layer separately from the rest of the image.

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