I have a layer containing an icon in color. My goal is to have the same icon in black and white as well (i.e., both the color and the black & white version in a single image).

When I select the color image on Layer 1 and duplicate it, then highlight Layer 1 copy, and finally click on the adjustments icon at the bottom of the layers panel to reduce the hue, I get the following result:

Layer Panel Screenshot

Selecting any layer will now yield black and white icons for both icons (even though I want Layer 1 to remain colorful).

(Also, Ctrl-Z does not undo it.)

How can I make Layer 1 copy black and white but leave Layer 1 colorful?

  • 2
    Put layer 1 in front of the hue/saturation layer you're using to make it black and white (I assume), - you could just use a black and white adjustment mask.
    – Dom
    Commented Jun 25, 2013 at 1:35
  • Your first suggestion worked, thanks. Not sure what a mask is and learning PS is overkill for what I'm trying to do. Commented Jun 25, 2013 at 2:02

5 Answers 5


Option/Alt click between the Adjustment layer and the icon layer. That way the Adjustment layer will only effect the layer it is "clipped" to.

  • This is the correct answer - the other layer(s) can be anywhere, you just need to alt+click to 'attach' the layer you'd like it to effect.
    – John
    Commented Jun 25, 2013 at 12:37

You need to make sure the layer that you want to stay coloured isn't behind the adjustment layer you're using to make the other layer black and white.

So bring the coloured layer, 'layer 1', to sit in front of the adjustment layer by placing it above the adjustment layer in the layer panel.

Instead of a Hue/Saturation adjustment layer, you could use the Black and White adjustment layer, considering it's relevance. :)


I always use Desaturate to create a Black and White version:

  1. Duplicate your colored logo layer
  2. Go to Image > Adjustments > Desaturate or press Ctrl + Shift + U

Now you will have a Black & White Layer (grayscale really) as well as your original color layer.


You can also CTRL + CLICK on the copied layer you are looking to have in Black and White, by doing so, you will have selected only the actual "content" in the layer, if you add your adjustment layer now, it will only add it to your icon (and not to the entire canvas)

What Dominic said above holds true, by adding an adjustment to your Black and White icon, you are essentially adding that layer to all other layers underneath it. (since your layer adjustment is sitting on top of the other layers)


Just delete the layer you want to be colorful then merge the black and white hue & saturation layer with the layer you want to be black and white. Now paste the layer you want to be colorful back in. Hope that helps :)

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