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I'm looking for a way to "apply" or "rasterize" adjustment layers in Photoshop. Basically if my layer tree looks like this:

Layer 3
Layer 4
Adjustment Layer
Layer 2
Layer 1

I need to get rid of the actual adjustment layer but apply the effect to Layer 1 & 2 (but also not merge Layer 1 & 2 together). I know you can basically do it by looking at the adjustment layer properties and just applying these adjustments to both layers separately through "Image" > "Adjustments".

I'd like to know if there was more easier way to do this?

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Select Layer 1, Layer 2 and the adjustment layer and choose "Merge Layers" from the Layers menu or use the keyboard shortcut +E

to merge all the layers and make a new layer of that and retain the originals, use the amazing +Shift+Alt+E

  • Sorry I forgot to specify that I want to keep the layers existing so merging them is not an option. Apologies for the bad description. – Bobster Nov 28 '12 at 14:36
  • edited my answer above, have a look if that suits your needs. Cheers. – Henrik Söderlund Nov 28 '12 at 15:00
  • Wow...did not know of that feature. However it doesn't really suit what I need...if there was a similar feature where I could select the adjustment layer AND one other layer and combine them in a similar way. Cheers anyway :) – Bobster Nov 28 '12 at 16:45
  • ok. I am trying to understand why you want to be able to do this? Duplicate that adjustment layer and clip one each to each Layer you want and then merge? Make groups with yours layers and then clip and adjustment layer to it and then merge? It would help if you would explain what your intention is. – Henrik Söderlund Nov 29 '12 at 8:08
  • Of course, you have the option to record an "action". Start recording, then perform all steps and adjustments you want to the layer. Then stop recording and assign a hotkey to that new action. Then simply select every Layer you want changed and shoot your hotkey. – Henrik Söderlund Nov 29 '12 at 8:10
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It's could be a bit tedious with lots of layers, but one solution is:

  1. Make copies of the adjustment layer so that you have one adjustment layer per layer.
  2. Option click the horizontal line between an adjustment layer and the layer below in the Layers panel (restricting its effect to just the single layer below it rather than all layers below it).
  3. Use merge layers as per Henrick Söderlund's answer.
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If you duplicate the adjustment layer, you could Ctrl + Shift + G to create a clipping mask for each individual layer you would like the clipping masks to modify. A layer can have several clipping masks. I believe this function can give you your desired output.

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