Super User is a question and answer site for computer enthusiasts and power users. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I have a PSD with a lot of layers, that are in a lot of groups. I think it would be very nice if when I click on the element, that layer would automatically be selected. Currently, I have to search for the correct layer in the Layers panel, which is pretty annoying sometimes.

I know there is the CTRL+click feature but, when you use groups, it only selects the group the layer is in, not the layer itself. Is there a way to change this functionality? Is there a way to make it select the layer instead of the group?

share|improve this question
For the most part Photoshop is an image editor, not a vector graphics drawing program, like say, Illustrator is -- so what you want to do doesn't really make sense since it doesn't really have "elements" or individual objects that you can select to edit. – martineau Mar 7 '13 at 15:48
True, but if you have many adjustment layers with masks, then it's possible for PS to make an educated guess. – MikeW Mar 7 '13 at 18:37
up vote 3 down vote accepted

Select the Move Tool. Then up in the options bar, there is an "Auto-Select" checkbox. Check that and it will then attempt to guess which layer you want when you click, based on content.

Based on this thread: Select Layer not Group, there is an additional dropdown option to select group or layer, so try changing that to layer.

enter image description here

share|improve this answer
This is the same functionality as you get with CTRL+click, it goes back to the group the layer is in, instead of selecting the layer. – rednaw Mar 7 '13 at 18:42
Ah, there is another option, can't confirm as I don't have PS at work, but will add to the answer. – MikeW Mar 7 '13 at 18:45
Crazy, it's just next to it, how blind I am! Thanks! – rednaw Mar 7 '13 at 22:17

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.