Learn how to make a reusable layout template for your photos in Photoshop. This is part one of a two part series.

The second video/post shows how to use the template to populate it with images. This can be done with any version of Photoshop.

Click Here for Part 2

This technique shows a quick way to create even complex layouts using selections and layers in Photoshop. It is simple to achieve for any one with advanced beginner skills or better in Photoshop.

Hello, I’m Helen Bradley. Welcome to this video tutorial. In this tutorial I’m going to show you how you can use Photoshop to make a reusable layout template. In a later video I’ll show you how you can go ahead and reuse that template.

This is the type of template that I’m going to show you how to create in this video and in the next video I’m going to show you how to populate it. Basically the template is made up here of a background layer which can be any color you like and you can also change the color if you want to. And into the template we’re going to put two black boxes and these later on are going to be filled with images. Here’s one image and here’s another. And it’s going to be done in a way that’s going to be very easy for you to limit the size of these images to match these black boxes. And then you can add copyright symbol.

Now I’ve got two in this particular template because I’m not sure whether I’m going to need a black one or a white one. And that will pretty much depend on what the images are that I’m using. So into this template I’m going to put both of them so they’re both available. So in this particular video this is the point at which we’re going to have the template created. We’ll have a backing, the two boxes and then two alternate copyright symbols that we can use. So let’s get started.

The first thing to do is to choose File, New and then make a size for your template. I’m using one that could be used for a blog so it’s a mere 650 by 300 pixels in size, 72 pixels per inch because this is going to the web, RGB color mode, and because I want a white background I’m just going to select Background Contents White. But we could color that later on if we wanted to, and I’ll just click Ok. And here is my new document. It has just a background layer.

The next thing to do is to add a guide that I’m going to use to make it just a little bit easier to make those black boxes. I’m going to choose View and then New Guide and I want this one to be at 40 percent vertical. So that’s a little bit more than one-third of the way across this document. Now I’m going to add a new layer by clicking the Add New Layer icon here at the foot of the layer pallete. I’m going to target the Rectangular Marquee tool. And making sure that I’m pointed to this new layer I’m going to drag over to create a rectangle. Now I’m going to do that again so that you can see that I start my rectangle here outside the edge of the image to make sure that I get all the image up to this line. And because View is set to Snap I’m snapping to this guide so I’m making sure that I’m filling this exact area.

I have black selected here as my foreground color so I’m going to press Alt Backspace or Option Delete on the Mac to fill my rectangle with that black color. Now I’m going to add another new layer and this time I’m going to choose Select, Inverse because what that does is to select everything that I didn’t have selected before. Now I’m going to fill this with black again, Alt Backspace, Option Delete.

Now right now I’ve got two black boxes. And if I turn off these guides, I’m just going to clear the guides, you’ll see that these two boxes in fact butt onto each other so they’re creating an entire document. That’s not what I want. I want a marker between the two of them.

So I’m going to click on the topmost layer, click the Move tool and then just tap with the right arrow key and I’m just visually deciding how much space I want between these two boxes. And I think that’s a pretty good amount. So having done that I’m just going to select a different tool and that will turn this off. So here I’ve got my two layers and my background layer.

And all I need to do now is to add the copyrights so I’m just going to choose File, Open Recent because I recently opened my black and my white copyrights. So here they are. I’m going to just pull these images out of the way so that I can see my main image. And this is the white copyright here that is selected so this is its layer. So I’m just going to drag and drop it into my image. It’s way too big but we’ll worry about that in a minute. I’ll close it down. And now this is my black copyright image and I’m going to drag and drop its background layer into my image. And again, it’s way too big too. I’m now going to select the black copyright layer here and I’m going to press Ctrl and T and then Ctrl and zero. And what that does is it lets me see my sizing handles because this image this copyright image is really, really huge.

So I’m just going to size it down so it’s going to fit better in this area here. I’m going to make sure that I click this link here so that it’s sized in proportion. And now I’m going to just drag it back to approximately where I want it to be and click the checkmark. I can hide that now. And now let’s focus on the white layer exactly the same, click the layer thumbnail to select it, Ctrl and T and then Ctrl and zero. Now I’m going to drag in on the sizing handles to make my copyright small enough to position it in place on my image. I’m just going to click this link again just to make sure that this is scaled in proportion and click the checkmark.

So this is my template. It’s all done and now I can save it. So I can choose File and then Save as and I would give it a name such as 40, 60 something, like that to indicate to me that this is a template that I can now use to create other documents in future. In the next video I’ll show you exactly how to do that.

I’m Helen Bradley. Thank you for joining me for this video tutorial. If you liked the tutorial please click Like. Think about subscribing to my YouTube channel and look at my website at projectwoman.com for more tips, tricks and tutorials on Photoshop, Lightroom, Illustrator, iPad and a whole lot more.

Helen Bradley