PHOTOSHOP - improving Layer Hierarchy, grouping, layer selection and Move tool

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  • Updated 3 years ago
  • (Edited)
I'm designing webpages with hundreds of elements and dozens of groups and subgroups using Photoshop. I used to do that work in Sketch 3 because element selection is very easy in Sketch (but the software as too many bugs to really be used for large productions).

In Photoshop, Selecting and organizing layers into groups and subgroups is often difficult due to the lack of visual hierarchy between layers, effects, and groups. Access. Despite adopting a good discipline about naming elements I find myself loosing layers very easily and spending considerable time everyday finding them back - often just toggling visibility to understand to find which group my layer is associate to. Then I need to move it to the appropriate group, which may not be expended - in which case I need to find the appropriate group - most likely a sub group, then find the layer I want to move back. I can use the Layer selection filter to do so but at that point, select the layer again and look for my target group again.

Ironically the Move Tool  right click displays a very clear hierarchy - purely typographic - which is easier to navigate to select a particular layer or group that the actual layer panel. 

I would like to suggest the following improvements:

- Add an option to the move tool contextual menu (right click) so a selected layer or group can be moved with the hierarchy displayed contextually.

- Ability to click through the hierarchy with the move tool (similar to Sketch 3) as a move tool option. If this move tool option is selected then it's possible to just click into a group and go down the hierarchy until the desired layer is selected.

- Dialog giving the ability to send selected layers to any existing group 

- Layer panel: Better visualization of hierarchy indent with different shade before the the element name so the hierarchy shows as steps. For instance: if a group receives a color, the color should extend up to the beginning of the layer name.

- Differentiating the type of element with tonal difference. So a layer is different from a group and different from an effect.

- Differentiating groups and from layers with from effect with typographic differences (Bold, regular, italic)

- Ability to toggle layer visibility by hierarchy - from top and down by levels

- Layer preview should focus on the layer element and not show the element in the context of the layer. 

- Add the ability choose a new layer's position in existing hierarchy or create a new group for that layer.

- Displaying the name of the group and nested subgroups while clicking on them with the move tool
- Working on a subgroup in isolation like in illustrator.
Photo of Julien Lallemand

Julien Lallemand

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  • hopeful!

Posted 3 years ago

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