Photoshop: Don't allow duplication of locked layers

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  • Updated 3 months ago
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The (Mac)keyboard shortcut to make a copy of a selection when not in the move tool is:
command-option-drag selection. That's all good! But this same keyboard shortcut should NOT duplicate fully locked layers. A locked layer should really be locked (like Illustrator) or else there should be a preference to make it so, please. thanks.
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p.guell

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Posted 5 years ago

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Chris Cox

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A locked layer is locked - you cannot make modifications to it.

But copying from or duplicating a locked layer is a perfectly valid operation.
What you're asking for is like saying you can't take pictures of a locked house.
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p.guell

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I do understand your logic, even though one layer of a multi-layered image is not the same as a locked house.
What I really would like is a way to truely lock that layer - because i'm messing around with lots of layers on top of it (I am painting & scratching, etc.). Maybe i have the auto-select box checked and i'm trying to duplicate a different layer, but this layer I want to stay still keeps dupicating instead... argh, it's so frustrating!
A new preference would take care of it.
Or if it was a documented keyboard shortcut, I could change it.
is that possible?

[To use your house analogy, I am painting that house but need to keep one room clean and untouched. The easiest way to keep everybody out is to lock just that room. Not take a picture of it!]
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Evan Dinsmore

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My most common scenario is this:

I'm working in 16-bit mode with a locked dither overlay layer on top of everything to keep subtle gradients when exporting to 8-bit. I have auto-select on, and selecting things below the locked layer is never a problem because, well, the layer is locked. I can't manipulate that locked layer in any way... until I try to option+drag one of the layers below it, forgetting that the dither overlay is there. I didn't have the dither overlay layer selected, nor did I want to interact with it in any way. The only solution is to hide the layer, but then I often forget to make it visible again before exporting, since I think I should be able to lock a layer and forget about it since no changes will be made. It's very, very frustrating.

If I wanted to duplicate, transform, or manipulate a locked layer in any way, I would unlock the layer.

Edit: I would love even a preference buried deep in the menu system. *Something* to resolve this. It's completely counter-intuitive.
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p.guell

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I am so surprised it took eight months for someone else to suffer from this same problem! It is so annoying.

I think it could be solved so easily with a simple preference. Or something in the horizontal options menu, like the "Sample all Layers" check box for the eye dropper or the brushes tool. Not too much to ask?
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Evan Dinsmore

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This has bugged me for a very long time, and all the designers I know and everyone I work with feels the same way. I just didn't know this feedback area existed until ranting on Twitter.
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Yamz K

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Agreed with all of the above!

I specifically lock my layers to keep them visible but prevent myself from accidentally modifying them. Making option+drag work on locked layers disrupts my workflow every time, despite working with Photoshop almost every single day for years.

As Evan said - even a deep buried preference would be absolutely welcome since I would turn it off and never bother with it again since I haven't yet encountered a personal scenario where I would need this to be readily accesible and easily toggle-able.
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Jacob Smith

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What I don't understand is why Photoshop's behaviour is different from both Illustrator and InDesign: in both of these option+drag on a locked layer does nothing.

I have column shapes in my top-most group so that they are always visible. I have them locked so that nothing happens to them. However, when I try to copy (via option+drag) a shape below it, the column shape copies every damn time because it's on top and I use Auto-select: Layer extensively. You can't imagine how frustrating this behaviour is.
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Casey Køerner

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I agree...this duplicating the locked layer function is nonsense.  The only adjustment I can find is to switch off "auto-select layer," but now I have to make an extra step.  Does anyone know a keystroke that can switch "auto-select layer" off and on?
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mohan37

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dang 4 years and this still hasn't been solved?  i'm always having to hide layers I've otherwise locked so I don't alt-copy them.  ridiculous.  Why would you ever WANT to alt-copy something you've explicitly locked?  That's got to be a far rarer need than wanting a locked layer to be totally untouchable.