The Layers Palette, Demystified

From hairstyles, to outfits, to chewing gum, everyone knows that layers are the bee’s knees, and our Layers palette is no exception. Thanks to this lil’ feature, the days of crossing your fingers and clicking around until you can finally access the text box or graphic you want are history. Which is a good thing, because clicking with crossed fingers is pretty tough.

Here, we’ll show you how Layers makes your creative life easier by giving you more control over your design elements. More of a hands-on learner? Then open the Rainbow Agenda template and play along!

Opening Layers

To use Layers, click the icon of the two stacked squares in the bottom toolbar and the Layers palette will pop up, giving you the ability to see all the different image and text elements in your PicMonkey creation.

Selecting your layer

From the panel, you can click to select any text box, graphic, or image in your design and reorder them at will.

To select an object from the Layers panel, just click it. The Graphic or Text palette will then pop up and you can edit your heart out.

Reordering layers

You can also control which object shows on top by clicking the re-order arrows. The bring to font arrow (the up arrow with a dash on top of it) will send it all the way to the top of the design and the send to back arrow (the down arrow with a dash beneath it) will send it all the way to the bottom. The plain up and down arrows will send the object forward or backward one layer at a time.

Changing the background

If you’re starting your design with a template, be aware that some templates use a canvas as their background and you can’t make changes to it from the Layers palette. However, you can go into Basic Edits and change the color of the background by clicking the Canvas Color effect. You can also add textures and effects to your PicMonkey creation, but those changes will only be applied to the background.

Flattening and deleting layers

Miss flattening? Don’t worry, you can still flatten your layers by clicking the Flatten button in the bottom left corner of the Layers palette (the stacked squares with the down arrow). This is helpful if you want to apply textures or effects to your graphics, since they will only be applied to the background image.

Tip: If you’re editing a template and you’ve replaced one of our images with one of your own, the only way to touch up that image is to flatten it to the background.

If you want to delete a layer, just click the unwanted layer and then click the trash can icon in the bottom right corner.

Happy layering!

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Tanya Friedland

Tanya is a copywriter at PicMonkey, a company that has greatly improved her life by allowing her to Zombify her friends and Santa-ify her enemies. A native Seattleite, she dreams of one day being a contestant on The Price Is Right.