As a graphic designer, there are times when you wish to see all the components (layers) of your work. To make all the layers of your work visible, here is a step-by-step instruction on the two ways through which you can achieve that.

Key takeaways

  • The shortcut command to copy a layer is Ctrl + J.
  • To open all your layers drag your cursor from the top on the ‘Eye’ feature.
  • Another way to make all layers visible is to select the option of “Show/hide all other layers” from the layer menu bar.

Step-by-step instructions on how to make all layers visible in Photoshop

A white canvas in photoshop

Create a new canvas

The first step for making all layers visible in Photoshop begins with creating a new canvas. To get that done, proceed to the topmost part of your screen, at the Menu toolbar, and click on Files.

Once you do that, a drop-down menu appears, showing you different options. Scroll down the menu and click on New. A dialogue box will pop up on your screen with options for additional details necessary for your new canvas. Fill in all the required information and proceed to the dialogue box’s right-hand side to click OK. Once done, your newly created canvas awaits you.

A red ellipse tool on the white canvas

Method 1:

Step 1: Create/design a shape (Using the Ellipse tool)

Once your new canvas is ready, the next step is to create/design a shape. For this step-by-step instruction, the Ellipse tool’s purpose is to create a circle with a red filling. To do that, scroll to the left-hand side of your screen and select the Ellipse tool. Once selected, go ahead and create your circle on the canvas.

Afterwards, proceed to fill in the circle using the Fill feature. The colour chosen for the filling in this illustration is red.

A red ellipse tool on a white canvas

Step 2: Duplicating the Ellipse layer

To get to display all layers in Photoshop, you’ll need a design with as many layers as possible. The designer duplicated the ellipse layer five times to make these instructions easier to follow. To copy a layer in Photoshop, scroll to the Layer bar on the right-hand side of the screen, and click on the Ellipse layer, the one named Ellipse 1. Once you click on it, press Ctrl + J.

By doing this, you can duplicate the layer as many times as possible. Here there are five different copies made and named accordingly.

Ellipse 1 copy 5 on a white canvas

Step 3: Closing the layers

The next step is to close some selected layers of your work. Here in the illustration above, the layers closed are Layers 3, 4, and 6. To close a layer, scroll to the Layer menu, and on each layer, you’ll find an “eye” symbol. Click on the eye located on each layer you wish to close, and the eye will automatically lock itself.

Ellipse 1 copy 5 on a white canvas

Step 4: Open all layers

To make all layers visible in Photoshop, one way to do it is by using the layer eye method. Scroll to the right-hand side of your screen, to the Layer menu, there where the “eye” feature is on each layer proceed to left-click on the eyes starting from the top and drag your cursor from the top downwards thereby opening all eyes.

Once done, all layers in that work become visible for you to see.

Ellipse 1 copy 3 on a white canvas

Method 2

Step 1: Closing the layers

To get another way of making all layers visible on Photoshop, the graphic designer proceeds to close specific work layers.

To close a layer, scroll to the Layer menu bar on the right-hand side of the screen; on each layer, locate the “eye” symbol and proceed to click on it to close it. For this illustration, the layers closed are layers 3, 4, and 5.

Selecting "Show/hide all other layers" in the layer menu bar

Step 2: Showing/hiding layers

Once you have some layers closed, right there on the Layer menu bar, right-click on any of the layers’ eye. A drop-down menu box appears with various options of which one is “Show this layer” and also “Show/hide all the other layers” Proceed by clicking on the instruction that reads “Show/hide all the layers.”

Hidden layer in photoshop

Step 3: Hidden layers

Once you click on “show/hide all the layers,” all the layers close and the canvas becomes completely blank as seen in the image above.

Selecting the option of "Show/hide all other layers" in the layer menu bar

Step 4: Making all layers visible

To make all layers visible once again, proceed to the “eye” area and right-click on it. As seen earlier, the same drop-down menu box appears, and once again, click on “Show/hide all the layers.”

Ellipse 1 copy on a white canvas

Step 5: Displaying all layers

Once you select the option mentioned above, all the layers open up, except the layer upon which you originally performed the right-clicking on.

Ellipse 1 copy on a white canvas

Step 6: Displaying all layers

To display the last hidden layer, that I the one on which you carried out the displaying command, repeat the steps done to reveal the other layers and carry them out of this layer too. Afterward, all your layers become visible.


How to posterize in Photoshop

How to make eyes glow in Photoshop


With Photoshop, graphic designers can choose to display all the levels making up their work or not depending on their desire. To achieve that, following these detailed instructions, any graphic designer can hide or display the various layers of their work with ease.