Working with Layers

Working with Layers

By Discovery Center Team

Layers work like virtual pages that you can stack, reorder, and change in almost any way you like, giving you tons of options and control over photo editing projects. In this tutorial we will show you how to create a wedding card using four basic layers: a background, a pattern, a photo, and text.

You will learn how to:

  • Create a background layer.
  • Apply a pattern layer over the background.
  • Add photos and graphics.
  • Create a text layer.

Using Layers is a fundamental skill in many photo projects, from a simple collage to the most complex masterpiece. This tutorial will teach you the basics of working with layers in PaintShop Pro.



Layers can help you with projects such as:

  • Collages
  • Scrapbooks
  • Background replacements
  • and many more!

By the time you’re finished, you will know how to create a simple collage with layers in under 5 minutes. Check out the three photos below that were combined to create a beautiful 3-layer collage.

1.  To begin with, open PaintShop Pro and make sure that you’re using the Edit Workspace.


2.  Next, open the Layers Palette. You can do this by going to the View menu Palettes and then putting a check mark in Layers – or by pressing the F8 key on your keyboard.



In this example we will create a simple 3 layer collage using one photo as the base and then changing the background and foreground.

You can picture a collage much like setting up a play.  The middle photo is the stage, there is a backdrop behind, usually of a sky, and then props are in the front.

First, open the image that you will be using as the base.

You will see this image appear in your Layers Palette named “Background”.



3.  Right-click on it    and rename the layer to “Base”.  You will need to do this, as any layer with the name “Background” cannot be moved around.

In this example, we will remove the sky behind the hillside and add some flowers to the foreground.

4.  Next, open the image you wish to use as the background.

5.  Go to Selections > Select  All or use the key combination Ctrl+A on your keyboard.



6.  Next, use they key combination Ctrl+C, or go to Edit > Copy.

7.  Click on your project and from the edit menu select Paste As New Layer.


8.  To resize, click on one of the corner nodes and drag outward.



To move layers around, simply hold down the left mouse button over the layer and drag it above or below the other layers.

9.  Take the Eraser Tool and remove the sky of the base layer to reveal the background image below.



10.  Next, open the foreground image.

Repeat the steps from earlier to copy this image into your project and resize it appropriately.

Use the Eraser Tool again to remove everything but the flowers at the bottom.

Now that the collage is finished it should be saved as a PSPIMAGE file.  That way, if you wish to make changes later, those layers will stay separated.

To save a copy that you can upload to Facebook or send via e-mail, go to   File Save As and select Jpeg.   

Since Jpeg images can only hold a single layer, you will get a warning message.  Click YES to this message to continue.

It’s just that simple to create a stunning collage from multiple images using the Layers function in PaintShop Pro.



If you have enjoyed this tutorial, be sure to check out the other tutorials that are available in the Discovery Center.  If you have any ideas for tutorials or projects that you would like to see in the future, please leave us some Feedback.

Thanks for watching! We hope you found this tutorial helpful and we would love to hear your feedback in the Comments section below. And don’t forget to visit our social media pages and show us what you’ve learned by sharing your photos, videos and creative projects with us.

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Comments (3)

  • Sandi Reply

    Recently purchased PaintShop Pro X9. I need to use this to create images for an e-commerce web site that sells swimwear and lingerie. I have a main image that I crop and then I crop other images to fit inside the main image and all to fit specific size requires for our database. I do not see anything in the tutorials telling me how to crop an image and place it within the frame of the original image to create a new image.

    August 15, 2017 at 10:40 am
    • Adam Reply

      Hello Sandi,

      What did you mean by placing an image within the frame of the original? Were you looking to create an icon surrounded by blank space, overlay one image over another, or do something else entirely?

      Corel Discovery Center Team

      August 17, 2017 at 12:03 am
    • Roy Reply

      I’m picking that you need to resize the images not crop.

      September 10, 2017 at 2:11 pm

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