Save Layers as Individual Files in Photoshop – 3 Easy Methods!

In this tutorial, you will learn three techniques to save layers as individual files in Photoshop.

The first technique works on older versions of Photoshop. While the two others work on newer versions.

We will work with the same Photoshop document containing three layers in all three examples.

  1. A Background Layer.
  2. A Vector graphic with a Layer Style.
  3. A text layer also with a Layer Style.

Save Layers As Individual Files In Photoshop Using a Script

In older versions of Photoshop, you’ll need to go to File > Scripts and select Layers to Files. But in Photoshop CC, the option Layers to Files has been moved to Export > Layers to Files.

Then follow the steps in the Export Layers To Files window.

Export Layers to Files
  1. Select the folder location where the individual layers will be saved.
  2. You can change the file name if you like. By default, the File Name will be the prefix to the exported files, along with a numerical value.
  3. To export only the visible layers, Check “Visible Layers Only.”
  4. Choose the file type for the exported documents. If you have transparent backgrounds, select PNG-24 since it supports alpha channels.
  5. You can enable ICC Profile and Transparency when using PNGs with transparent backgrounds.
    To only include actual pixel content check the Trim Layers box. Photoshop will then crop each individual exported file to match the content.

Once you’re done, press Run.

You’ll get a notification once all the layer files have been saved.

In the resulting folder, you will see all the layers saved, and each file name will have the naming prefix you set and a numerical value for each.

Save Layers As Individual Files In Photoshop Using Quick Export

Let’s now look at the new Quick Export command and how you can use it to save layers into individual files in Photoshop.

Let’s start by selecting all the layers. Select the topmost layer, hold Shift, and click on the bottommost layer to select all three layers.

Alternatively, you can select any layer and hold Ctrl (Windows) or Command (macOS) and tap on the other layers to select non-consecutive layers.

Next, Right-click on any of the selected layers, and from the dropdown menu, choose Quick Export as PNG. Then choose the folder you want the individual layers to be saved.

Quick Export as PNG

Once all the layer files have been saved in the designated folder, you’ll see that the file name format differs from the first technique for saving individual layers we showed you earlier.

The file name of each document corresponds to the Photoshop layer name.

Export Layers to Individual files in Photoshop

If you want to change the Export as PNG file extension to JPG, go into the Preferences panel by pressing Ctrl K (Windows) or Command K (macOS).

Under the Export tab, go to the file extension dropdown and change the file extension to JPG. Then press OK.

Keep in mind that you also have preferences for the JPG Metadata.

Photoshop Preferences

Now, when you right-click on a layer, you’ll see Export as JPG.

Quick Export as JPG

You can also change the other settings at Preferences > Export.

Save Layers As Individual Files In Photoshop Using The Export As Command

Let’s work on the third technique for saving individual layers to files in Photoshop.

Start by selecting all three layers. Right-click and choose Export As.

Export As

Change the settings for your Export here:

1. On the far left panel, click the corresponding layer to assign a file extension. 

2. Select the preferred file extension for the corresponding layer.

3. You can edit the Metadata or Color Space. If you’re exporting a file to be used on the web, enable Convert to sRGB.

4. Click on the Export Options link to learn more about these settings and the Export As dialog.

When done, tap on the Export All button. 

Export As Dialog Box

Final Thoughts

If you enjoyed this tutorial, you will also enjoy my tutorial on the Photoshop History Log, where you will learn about a little-known to track all the edits you make to a photo.

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