Photoshop: Easily Show/Hide Linked Layers

  • 2
  • Idea
  • Updated 7 months ago
  • (Edited)
It would be great if Photoshop had a context menu-option or "Alt-Click" function that let you toggle visibility for all linked layers.

My use case is a character concept file with many layers in two major groups, "Color" and "Outlines", where each color layer is linked to a corresponding outline layer. In order to mix and match parts of the character, I'm constantly toggling visibility of the different linked parts.

Right now, the best solution I've found is to roll your own action, as follows:

But A) you can't use the action consecutively, since the condition (with a red arrow) needs a single selected layer, whereas the action results in multiple selected, meaning you have to re-click the layer before reuse. And B) this is really difficult to create. I'm an experienced programmer so I figured it out, but in order to generate an action that was generally "Show Layer" as opposed to "Show Layer XXX", it took a lot of finagling, as the keyboard shortcut wasn't doing it. I also had to find and bind the shortcut for "Select Linked Layers," learn about the entire notion of Actions and Conditional, etc. There's no way the average user could figure this out imo, it's not simple at all.

So my specific suggestions are:
  1. Make it so that holding some combination of Ctrl/Alt/Shift when clicking the layer's eye icon toggles visibility of the clicked layer and all linked layers.
  2. Have an option in a right-click context menu that does the same.
  3. Maybe add a "select first layer within multiple selections" action or a "select last selected layer" action so custom actions on layers can be activated consecutively. Could also have corresponding actions for non-layer object types.
Thoughts? Anything I'm missing? Suggestions to improve this action? Otherwise, thanks for reading.
Photo of philipguin


  • 2 Posts
  • 0 Reply Likes

Posted 7 months ago

  • 2
Photo of Max Johnson

Max Johnson, Champion

  • 624 Posts
  • 338 Reply Likes
I agree that Actions, generally, are both limiting and frustratingly complicated as soon as you try to make them the least bit abstract.