In “traditional” scrapbooking, we use glue, tape, or various other items to fasten our papers and elements to each other. We typically build our scrapbook page from the bottom up, securing our elements as we go.

We can do the same thing in our digital scrapbook pages by using the Lock options in the Layers Panel.  Let’s look at the “Lock Position” and “Lock All” options today to see how they can help us.

The Lock options are at the top of the Layers Panel. The icon of the intersecting arrows is the Lock Position option, and the icon of the padlock is the Lock All option.


Here is a layout created by Miss Pepper using Rise and Shine.  (She received the well-deserved recognition of Layout of the Day for this page!)


As I was thinking about the Lock Options today, Miss Pepper’s page immediately came to mind.

I love the sun flare Miss Pepper used behind the Rise and Shine poem.  If she decided to reposition the text by selecting and moving it with the Move tool, it would be very easy to accidentally grab the flare instead of the thin text.  However, if we select the sun flare layer and click on the Lock Position icon, we will lock the sun flare in place on our page.  We can now very easily select that text with the Move tool and reposition it as we want.


Here is a layout created by 6Grand.  Her clusters are so intricate, locking layers as the clusters were finalized would keep them perfectly positioned and locked in place as other parts of the layout were designed.  I can also see the Lock as being particularly helpful to keep the curtains exactly where they belong on the window frame. (Linking the curtains and the window frame would keep those 2 layers together as well; but using the Lock Position will provide the additional “safety” of locking them in their position on the page.)

SD Rise and Shine. Font: Myriad pro

To use the Lock All option, we need to select all of the layers that we would like to lock together, and click on the Lock All icon (the padlock).  This will lock all of those layers together AND prevent them from moving on your page.

SD Rise and Shine. Font: Myriad pro

If you would like to link your layers together and still have the ability to move them around, you would use the linking tool, which you can read about in the Linking and Unlinking Layers in Photoshop tutorial.

I don’t always lock layers as I work, but there are times when it is helpful for me. I hope you will find times when it is helpful for you as well!

Photoshop Elements Users have two Lock Options:  Lock All Pixels and Lock Transparent Pixels.  The Lock All Pixels is the option you would want to use here.  We’ll talk about Lock Transparent Pixels next week!