How do I edit multiple layers in Photoshop at once? Highlighting them all or selecting them selectively while holding shift does not work (for example, when applying Layer Options effects to layers).

4 Answers 4


Adjustment layers can be useful here for the edits found in Image > Adjustments. More on these can be found here.

For layer styles, do what you want to one layer. Once done, right click on that layer and click Copy Layer Style. Select all the other layers you want to apply it to then right click on one of them, then click Paste Layer Style.

Hope that helps.

  • Thanks for the reply. :) Is it possible to do this in batch?
    – JFW
    Commented Feb 18, 2011 at 14:51
  • 3
    If you select all the layers you want to (using shitf + click or ctrl + click) then right click on one of them and select 'Apply Layer Style', you'll be able to apply it to many at once. For adjustment layers, just place all in a group and apply the style to the adjustment layer above it.
    – user474
    Commented Feb 18, 2011 at 14:53
  • @Scott Brown, Just to be sure, because Adobe has changed its link structure, do you mean the following help text for Adjustment Layers? helpx.adobe.com/photoshop/key-concepts/adjustment-layer.html Commented Jul 9, 2017 at 17:48
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    @GwynethLlewelyn yeah, looks like that's the new help for that feature. Thanks, I'll update the post
    – user474
    Commented Jul 10, 2017 at 11:08
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    @GwynethLlewelyn no problem at all, keep learning!
    – user474
    Commented Jul 11, 2017 at 13:12

One method is to convert the layers into smart objects first. First, select the layers you want to edit in the layers pane ctrl+click then right click and choose convert to smart object.

(It might be a good idea to duplicate the layers first)

Once that is complete, right click the smart object and click Edit contents.

This is basically another PSD file within the layer, you must commit the changes before it will take any effect within the normal PSD though. :)

  • 1
    There are numerous advantages to this. 1. You can resize the smart object, and layer styles within the smart object scale too. 2. You can apply "smart effects" on it, that don't really mess about with the contents, rather the projection of the said PSD file. 3. As mentioned, you can still edit the insides of the smart object as freely as you would have before converting it. Only downside being the separate editing and 'committing'. +1 for the only proper way around it ;-)
    – Ars Magika
    Commented Feb 16, 2011 at 17:22
  • Yeah, smart objects are pure awesome! :D Thanks :)
    – Kyle
    Commented Feb 17, 2011 at 8:18

I typically duplicate the layers I want to edit together and then merge them. (Keeping a copy of the original layers). This is a nice quick way when you're editing photos.

However, if I'm keeping the layers separate, I would recommend using the Adjustment Layers as Scott suggested. Though, this will effect all layers underneath the Adjustment Layer - though you could use some creative masking to ignore other layers (as long as the don't overlap on top).


Group the layers together and apply the style to the the group.

  • Welcome to GD.SE! Can you please explaine more what you mean, for example with showing screenshots what yone have to do? How does your answer differ to the acepted?
    – Mensch
    Commented Oct 25, 2014 at 11:06

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