Photoshop: Single layers inside a Layer Group cannot be moved with Move Tool

  • 1
  • Problem
  • Updated 2 years ago
  • (Edited)
When I am working on (particularly) website design, I will have a hundred layers or more. Grouping them into logical Layer Groups has been incredibly helpful (header, footer, navigation, content, etc). However, the newer Photoshop versions don't allow me to move a single layer that's in a Layer Group, using the Move Tool - without moving the whole entire group.  

So imagine, I have drilled into the Layer Group and found the one layer with a snippet of text or small graphic and I want to move it to the other side of the page.  I have the layer selected, I select the move tool and I go to move the little object. The whole entire group comes with it. What??

The only way to reposition this element (In a set of Grouped Layer) is to:

a) Move the individual layer out of the group and then move with the move tool, then put it back into the group, or . . .

b) Use the arrow keys - pounding on the arrow keys to move the object across the page. 

This feature of grabbing the whole Layer Group is new.  I realized it in the last year or two, frustrated, and just end up doing work arounds, as mentioned above.

If there is a way to turn this feature off at a global or local level, the Adobe tech support could not help me. I have searched and couldn't find anything. I'm a little baffled - but maybe there is something obvious in a general work flow that I'm missing - something that I should be doing differently.  I'm all ears.

If I wanted to move the whole Layer Group, I just have to select the Layer Group folder. So I just don't understand why a UI designer would think this is a good, hard coded experience that everyone is forced to have.

Thanks for reading - I'd appreciate any feedback.

Photo of Tim Goulet

Tim Goulet

  • 1 Post
  • 0 Reply Likes
  • an ache in my arrow key finger.

Posted 2 years ago

  • 1
Photo of Max Johnson

Max Johnson, Champion

  • 511 Posts
  • 255 Reply Likes
In the properties bar at the top when you have the move tool selected, is the auto-select enabled?
Photo of Jeffrey Tranberry

Jeffrey Tranberry, Sr. Product Manager, Digital Imaging

  • 15078 Posts
  • 2139 Reply Likes
What Max said. I'd suspect you have "Auto-Select" checked and the pop-up set to Group. This will always select the parent group to move. Either change the pop-up to "Layer" to dig in and only grab the layer you clicked on the canvas, or uncheck "Auto-Select" and the move tool will only move the layers you have selected in the Layers panel.