In a flattened image, all visible layers are merged into the background, which greatly reduces the file size. Flattening an image discards all hidden layers and fills the remaining transparent areas with white. In most cases, you won't want to flatten a file until you have finished editing the individual layers.
Note: Converting an image between some color modes flattens the file. Be sure to save a copy of your file that includes all layers if you want to edit the original image after the conversion.
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Adobe Photoshop can be a complex tool only because you can do so much with it, however for in this video series, we're going to keep it as simple as possible. In fact, in this video you'll see an overview of the few tools and Adobe Photoshop features we will use. When you see this video, you'll see how you can do so much with so few features, but you'll learn how to use them in depth in the future videos.