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How to Use Overlays in Photoshop


These instructions will help you create photo effects using overlays in Photoshop.

Planning to install and use your overlays in Elements? See this video guide on how to install and use overlays in Elements

Overlays do not need to be installed. They consist of an image that will sit on top of your image to create a different effect. Instead of installing, save your overlays to a familiar place on your computer. When you apply them, you will recall them from wherever you saved them on your computer.

There is a glitch in the new Photoshop November 2017 upgrade that will not allow you to apply .png overlays by placing an embedded file. Here is a workaround and alternative means of placing your overlay, and the steps to show you how to use overlays in Photoshop:

How to Use Overlays in Photoshop

  1. Open the image where your overlay will be applied

  2. Open your selected overlay by going to select File --> Open

  3. Resize your selected overlay to match your primary image by going to Image --> Image Size

  4. Copy and paste your overlay onto your image by going to Select --> All, then go to Edit --> Copy

  5. Toggle to your primary image and go to Edit --> Paste

  6. Set the layer mode to SCREEN

  7. Adjust layer opacity to further refine your overlay application

  8. Use the eraser or mask and soft brush to clean up parts of your photo

  9. Merge the layers

Here's more information on using and applying sky overlays in Photoshop

Shop our latest collections of Photoshop Overlays.