by Jakub

submit your photo

Hall of Fame
View past winners from this year

Please participate in Meta
and help us grow.

Take the 2-minute tour ×
Photography Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for professional, enthusiast and amateur photographers. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Is it possible to add an adjustment layer just to one layer in Photoshop? I've tried, but the adjustment layer seems to affect all layers.

share|improve this question
Good question, I remember trying for ages to figure this one out! –  Matt Grum Sep 26 '10 at 18:35
Hehe yea, it's pretty annoying. Thank you for the solution Matt. –  grm Sep 26 '10 at 20:58
Does anyone know how this works in Photoshop CC (2014.2.1 release)? It looks like they did away with the button in the answer below. –  Nathan Lucy Dec 4 '14 at 21:07
Found it. It's a tiny button. Select the adjustment layer and then open the Properties pane. –  Nathan Lucy Dec 4 '14 at 21:08

1 Answer 1

up vote 13 down vote accepted

Yes it is possible in CS4 and (I assume CS5 though I don't have a copy). By default the layer affects all the layers beneath it, but if you click on the adjustment and bring up the adjustment window (where you set the properties of the adjustment) there's an icon which says

"This adjustment affects all layers below (click to clip to layer)"

Clicking on that icon sets the adjustment layer to apply only to the layer beneath it. See the following quick screenshot.

alt text

share|improve this answer
That is totally non-obvious. Nice! –  anon Oct 27 '11 at 15:39
thank you!!!!! This is so helpful!!! –  user11977 Oct 10 '12 at 19:28
This is called a clipping mask. You can also set this by holding Alt positioning the mouse between the two layers (the adj layer and the one beneath) and clicking. –  MikeW Oct 13 '12 at 21:31

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.