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Is there a way to determine how large a specific Photoshop layer or group is in terms of bytes?

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Curious as to why you would want or need to. – SOIA Mar 20 '14 at 15:26
Sometimes I need to send a PSD file via email and it exceeds the max limit. Often I have layers/groups that I don't really need and can afford to delete theme... – user31656 Mar 20 '14 at 15:48
Fair enough. I'd be more inclined to simply use something like Dropbox than to spend the time cherry picking layers based on bytes. – SOIA Mar 20 '14 at 16:04
I was going to suggest the same thing. What I usually do is Purge Hidden Layers, as I often have what I call "ghost layers" for easy selection/obsolete layers. I do this prior to saving my final PSDs unless I have a reason to keep a hidden layer in the document. – kcdwayne Mar 20 '14 at 18:25
If you do not need hard numbers, you can get a good understanding of relative sizes by using logic. Complex pixel content and large smart layers will use a lot of bytes. Shape layers and large areas of similar color will use less. – Henrik May 19 '14 at 17:21

There is usually an image size indicated at the lower left of the image frame (e.g. "Doc: 1234.3k/2345.6k").

Frankly, I do not recall what the leftward number indicates, but the right-hand number is the uncompressed byte size of the document (in memory). A straightforward way to tell what a layer size is: write down the right-hand number, delete the layer, write down the right-hand number, undo. Then subtract.

Note this is the size in memory, and is not the same as the file size, since most storage mechanisms compress the data in some way.

The layer size will vary based upon coverage. A single-layer image 100% filled is roughly the pixel width x the pixel height x the number of channels (RGB=3; CMYK=4; alpha=variable). A partially filled layer will probably be less than this and is at most the dimensions of a bounding square around the non-transparent areas. If I had to guess, I would expect photoshop to optimize this in some way by using multiple bounding boxes (behind the scenes)

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