How to Add a Background on PhotoShop

Written by janet roemmel
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How to Add a Background on PhotoShop
Complicated graphics require the structure of layers in Photoshop (orange swirl image by Kimberly Reinick from

The Background layer in Adobe Photoshop CS4 exhibits special limited functionality as the starting point in any new file. Since a Background layer lacks the in full range of editing tools, it protects the contents of a layer. A Background layer can preserve the view of an image layer, so it preserves several editing steps. The presence of a Background layer structures the Photoshop CS4 file to minimise inadvertent deletions. A few simple steps can create a new Background layer in a new or existing Photoshop CS4 file.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

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Things you need

  • Adobe Photoshop CS4 software

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  1. 1

    Open the Adobe Photoshop CS4 program. On the File drop-down menu, select New. In the open New dialogue box, type the name of the new file in the top line labelled "Name." "Click" the OK button. The new file contains a default Background layer.

  2. 2

    Verify that the Layers palette is open and on top by selecting the Window drop-down menu. Ensure that Layers has a check mark to the left, signifying that it is visible. Press the "F7" button on the keyboard for an alternative method of making the Layers palette visible. The Background layer, listed in italics, appears at the bottom of the stack as the initial layer in the Layer palette.

  3. 3

    Create a new Background layer in the event of a deleted Background layer by converting an existing layer. Select the layer to convert and "click" on the Layer drop-down menu. Point to New and "click" on Background From Layer, according to Adobe Systems. The existing layer will be renamed "Background."

Tips and warnings

  • Only one Background layer can exist in a Adobe Photoshop CS4 file.
  • A newly created Background copy can be fully edited and moved to any position in the layer stack.
  • Only convert an image layer to a Background layer at the completion of editing, since a Background layer has limited editing options.

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