Imagine yourself shuffling through a filing cabinet looking for your birth certificate. You open the drawer and to your dismay, none of the *MANY* documents inside this filing cabinet have been put into folders. Instead, all of the documents are shuffled into a mind-numbing clutter that will take turn your expectedly short task into a tedious, exhausting experience. You proceed to smash your head into the nearest solid object, most likely the filing cabinet itself. Oh, the joys of clutter!
If you work in photoshop at all, you’re more than likely familiar with “layers.” Designs can sometimes consist of 100+ layers, all of which contain different elements.
More often than not, other people’s .psd files that I work on haven’t been organized in the slightest. This often leads me to a sharp pain in my forehead and several profane verbs and nouns.
“But wait!”, you say. “You can control+click on anything and the layer will auto-select.” My response…
If you work in an enviroment where people are sharing .psd files, you must remember to group layers, paths, etc. into clusters that make sense. For instance, if you have a site design that contains a header, navigation bar, content area, and footer…. wouldn’t it make sense to at least group the related layers together?
Here’s a side-by-side of two .psd’s upon opening photoshop:
As you can see, the file on the left has been organized into family groups and each layer has been named. By keeping the groups detailed as pictured it makes changing elements much less tedious for yourself and those who may be using the file in the future. It’s just good manners to organize. 🙂
On the right you see a list of non-grouped, unnamed layers . If you can imagine this list of layers extending to ten times this length… each and every one as ambiguous as the next… it becomes incredible tedious and almost like a puzzle game to make the file workable.
- Group families of layers.
- Name every layer.
- It makes everyone’s time working with the file much easier.
I know, it’s a tough concept to follow. 🙂
Is grouping important to you? I’d like to hear everyone’s thoughts.