Is there anyway to use the Eraser tool on more then one layer at once?

my question stems from a project I'm working on where i am cleaning up a scan of an architectural drawing. The Architect has folded it, Spilled coffee among other things and there are a few dirty finger prints.

While trying to restore the white background, im finding that some dirty sections are harder to see then others, so what i have been doing is duplicating layer, then using Levels to bring out the specs in the new layer. Then using this new layer, i use the eraser tool to remove the specs from the original.

It would streamline my workflow greatly if i could Use the Eraser tool on 2 layers at once.

Any help would be Great. Thanks all

  • Welcome to Graphic Design. Per the FAQ, this question is off-topic and would normally be closed. But since you got answers, and those answers received upvotes, I am going to leave it open but only as community wiki. Aug 13, 2011 at 13:38

2 Answers 2


You don't need to edit 2 layers at the same time. Instead, add a Levels adjustment layer (Adjustment Layer Icon) above it and just modify the original layer.


Heckuva project you have there. Coffee stains? Oh, boy.

Here's Tip Number One: don't use the eraser tool; non-destructive editing will get you there a lot faster. The best practice for this kind of situation is to use a mask:

  • Put the scan on its own layer with a white solid layer beneath.

  • Create a layer mask for your scan layer.

  • Create a Levels adjustment layer (NOT a copy of the layer) above the scan and crank up the contrast so you can see what you're dealing with. At any point during your edit you can tweak this according to your needs.

  • Paint out the crapola using a Black brush on the Layer Mask (NOT the layer). If you overdo it somewhere, just press X to switch from Black to White and paint in back in. Press X again to revert to Black.

Any time you're not quite sure what you're looking at, you can toggle off the mask (Shift-Click on the mask icon), then toggle it back on.

When you're done, save out a tiff or jpeg copy. You can also add a small note saying "No pixels were harmed in the making of this copy."

  • You just made me feel real cheap and lazy about my answer. :p
    – Farray
    Aug 11, 2011 at 22:23
  • 1
    No, yours was a good answer. That's why I voted it up. I just amplified it a bit. :-) Aug 12, 2011 at 1:01

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