Flattening a layered image

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If you plan to send a file out for proofs, it's also a good idea to save two versions of the fileā€”one containing all the layers so that you can edit the file if necessary, and one flattened version to send to the print shop. When you flatten a file, all layers are merged into a single background, greatly reducing the size of the file.

1 First, note the values in the lower-left corner of the application window (Windows) or the 11Start.psd image window (Mac OS). If the display does not show the file size (such as "Doc: 909K/6.4M"), click the arrow on the bottom of the window to open a pop-up menu, and choose Document Sizes.

The first number is the printing size of the image, which is about the size that the saved, flattened file would have in Adobe Photoshop format. The number on the right indicates the approximate document size of the file as it is now, including layers and channels.

2 Choose Image > Duplicate, name the duplicate file 11Final.psd, and click OK.

3 On the Layers palette menu, choose Flatten Image. The layers for the 11Final.psd file are combined onto a single background layer.

4 Notice that the file size of the 11Final.psd image is significantly smaller than the 11Start.psd image, because it has been flattened onto the background.

5 Choose File > Save. In the Save As dialog box, click Save to save the file in Photoshop format.

You've completed the Advanced Layer Techniques lesson.

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