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.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Good question, I remember trying for ages to figure this one out! \$\endgroup\$
    – Matt Grum
    Sep 26, 2010 at 18:35
  • \$\begingroup\$ Hehe yea, it's pretty annoying. Thank you for the solution Matt. \$\endgroup\$
    – grm
    Sep 26, 2010 at 20:58
  • \$\begingroup\$ 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. \$\endgroup\$
    – Crowder
    Dec 4, 2014 at 21:07
  • \$\begingroup\$ Found it. It's a tiny button. Select the adjustment layer and then open the Properties pane. \$\endgroup\$
    – Crowder
    Dec 4, 2014 at 21:08

1 Answer 1


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

  • \$\begingroup\$ That is totally non-obvious. Nice! \$\endgroup\$
    – anon
    Oct 27, 2011 at 15:39
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ 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. \$\endgroup\$
    – MikeW
    Oct 13, 2012 at 21:31

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