When you create a new file in Adobe Photoshop CS5 with a solid-colour fill, your file contains a single layer that can't support transparency. In the "Layers" panel, the layer's name, "Background," appears in italics. If you need to add a "Background" layer to a working file that doesn't contain one, you can't just change the name of a regular layer to "Background," because that creates a background layer in name only. You can convert any regular Photoshop layer to a "Background" layer in a few simple steps.
- Skill level:
- Moderately Easy
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Launch Adobe Photoshop CS5. Choose "Open" from the "File" menu. Navigate to the location of the file you want to open and either double-click on its name or click once on it to highlight it and click on the "OK" button.
Press "F7" to open the "Layers" panel if it is not already open. Click once on the name of the layer you want to become your "Background" layer.
Check the background colour swatch in your "Tools" panel to make sure it's the colour with which you want Photoshop to fill your "Background" layer if you're converting a blank layer. If you're converting a layer that already has visual content on it, the conversion process will change any transparent areas to your current background colour.
Click on the "Layer" menu, choose "New" and select "Background from Layer." Your selected layer converts to a "Background" layer and drops to the bottom of the layer stack in the "Layers" panel.
Tips and warnings
- If you don't need individual layers in your file and just want to flatten the document to a "Background" layer, choose the "Flatten" command from the flyout menu at the top right corner of the "Layers" panel or select "Flatten Image" from the "Layer" menu.
- You can't add a true "Background" layer to a document that already contains one.
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