In Photoshop Elements, how do I expand a layer group to see the layers inside? I mean "Register form" or "login form" in the following screenshot:

enter image description here

  • have you tried double clicking them while move tool selected? and what kind of layers, this group contains?
    – Jack
    Commented Feb 27, 2012 at 13:33
  • @Pankaj double click opens up a dialog to rename it, no matter which tool I have selected. Commented Feb 27, 2012 at 13:54
  • Weird. In Photoshop, there is normally a triangle in that space between the folder icon and the visibility icon. You would click it once it toggle expand/collapse. If it's expanded, the triangle would point down; if it's collapsed, it would point right. Are there for sure layers in that layer group? Commented Feb 27, 2012 at 14:17
  • @Lèsemajesté There sure are, and I'm looking for that same triangle in Elements. Commented Feb 27, 2012 at 15:28
  • yea i was wondering may be elements have something different group style then normal Photoshop, its missing that triangle arrow, infact why it is showing blocked pencil tool? I dont know
    – Jack
    Commented Feb 28, 2012 at 4:41

2 Answers 2


Well, upon some investigating, it appears that this is an intentional limitation of Photoshop Elements. As of PE10, there is still no support for layer groups. So you'll need someone with Photoshop to remove all layer groups before saving, as PE won't allow you to edit individual layers inside a layer group.

Luckily though, someone has made, for PE7, a set of actions that allow you to work around this missing feature. This should work for the latest versions of Photoshop Elements.

Unfortunately, this is the nature of crippleware. I'm not a big fan of this sort of sales tactic. I much prefer adding extra features to premium versions rather than stripping basic features to free/cheaper versions.

Maybe if there's enough customer outrage, Adobe will relent and add this basic feature to PE11. Something like this did happen with Aptana Studio Community Edition—SFTP support was removed in a later version, and even the community-supplied SFTP plugin was removed from the update repository. However, this understandably upset a lot of community members since it basically forced community edition users to use FTP, which is incredibly insecure and a very outdated practice at this point, so eventually Aptana relented and re-added SFTP support by default (a decision I applaud them for).

  • Thank you. That renders Photoshop Elements useless for my purpose. Oh well. Commented Feb 28, 2012 at 8:24
  • 1
    PS and PSE are developed by different teams at Adobe, and there are features that migrate from one from the other, but not necessarily quickly. The Spot Healing brush was in Elements before it was in Photoshop, for example, and the Selection Brush never did make it to PS. Layer groups is a function that's not been implemented in Elements, and I suspect it's not a function that would be much in demand in its target market. Commented Feb 29, 2012 at 2:48

There are at least a couple options I know of for grouping and ungrouping:

Free option: http://www.elementsvillage.com/forums/showthread.php?t=48026

Cheap option ($12): http://simplephotoshop.com/elementsplus/

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.