I'm working on cutting up a web design template and this has bugged me for years. On my psd file I have a bunch of layers and I want to crop out the arrow icon without anything in the background making it transparent when used on a site.

I usually just guess and hide layers until I find the correct one. It would be great if there was some type of shortcut to just isolate that specific layer. Even with a right click using the MOVE tool, its just get filled with layers in the popup box.

What are some quick and easy ways to extract the arrow icon with all the other layers hidden?

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3 Answers 3


Use the find options at the top of the Layers Panel

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Narrowing search parameters hides other layers. If you want to see the layers in the layer panel, but not view the other layers in the document window you can Option/Alt-click the visibility icon for the layer, that will turn off visibility for all other layers.


When using the Move Tool (pointer) change the option at the top to be Auto-select "Layer", then you can use Ctrl + Click to select that specific layer. Or just check the box next to that option to always auto select the layer you click on.

  • thanks! 10+ years of photoshop... all this time it was in that dropdown box!... now how do i isolate just that layer and hide everything else? Nov 11, 2014 at 0:22
  • nvm i got it.. right click the eyeball on the layers window and hide all except. Nov 11, 2014 at 0:23
  • Alternately (pun intended), you can CTRL+ALT + click the eyeball on one layer to hide all other layers.
    – digijim
    Nov 11, 2014 at 16:05

Auto-select is a great tool, but if you need to isolate a specific layer to save it for web with a transparent background, here's the next step.

Once the layer is selected, drop down the layer menu (the little arrow in the upper right of the layer palette) and choose Duplicate Layer. Notice at the bottom of the dialog is a Destination field. Drop that down and choose New. Now you'll open a new PS document with just your layer in it on a transparent background. To get rid of all the empty space, go to the Image menu and choose Trim. The dialog will let you choose to "trim empty transparent pixels". Do that and you'll get a new canvas fit perfectly around your isolated layer. Now save for web!

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