Using Layer Effects and Layer Styles in Photoshop
Create and save effects for drop shadows, gradients, bevels and other favorites
By Mike Jackson
Posted on Monday, April 27th, 2020
Layer Effects are always at your fingertips. They are some of Photoshop’s most powerful, fun and creative tools. Layer Effects are easy to apply, and if you take the extra step of creating a Layer Style, you’ll find it is easy to reproduce a complex effect on another layer in the project—or on a future project!
Three of my favorite Layer Effects are Drop Shadow, Stroke and Bevel/Emboss, but there are others like Color Overlay, Gradient Overlay, Pattern Overlay, Outer Glow and Satin. A single Layer Effect can have any or all effects applied to objects in a layer, and all of the effects are fully editable. If that’s not enough, each of the various Layer Effects have a wide variety of adjustments!
It’s fairly easy to create complex Layer Effects adjustments. If you create an effect you like, even a simple one, it’s equally easy to save all of the adjustments as a Layer Style with a name of your choice. Once saved, the entire set of adjustments can be applied to any layer, now or in the future. Layer Styles you create can be copied to other computers or shared with friends. Additionally, Adobe includes a long list of Layer Styles with the software. Numerous companies sell Layer Styles, and many are available for download on the Internet.