Are there times when you struggle to see what is on a particular layer in a Photoshop document? Do you wish there was a way to have the thumbnails larger in size?  Well, there is!  There are, in fact, 2 changes we can make in our Panel Options to help us more easily see what is on our document layers.

I am working in Photoshop CC2015 today; but this works in other versions of Photoshop, as well as in Photoshop Elements.

Here is a screen shot of a Handmade Christmas Cluster, created for us by Charne, a member of my Creative Team.  In this screen shot, Panel Options are at the default settings. Notice how small the thumbnail is in size (circled in green); and how we cannot see what element is on the indicated layer (red arrow).


Let’s make 2 quick changes that will allow us to more easily see what we are are working with.

At the top of the Layers Panel, click on the 3 horizontal lines to the far right. Doing so will open the Layers Panel Options Window:


In the Layers Panel Options Window, we can choose our Thumbnail size. We have the option of not having a thumbnail at all, or of having a small, medium or large thumbnail.  Tick the button in front of the size you would like to have.


In the Layers Panel Options Window, we also  have the option of choosing our Thumbnail Contents.  “Layer Bounds” will show a layer element, with transparency trimmed to the boundaries of the element itself.   “Entire Document” will show the layer element in relation to where it is on the full-sized document that is active.


Both views can be helpful, depending upon what you are trying to see or do.  It’s easy to switch back and forth between views too.  So the next time you find yourself straining to see what is on a document layer, just open your Layers Panel Options Window and make a quick switch!

Click on the image below to download Charne’s Cluster!

Find Handmade Christmas on sale now!


If you would like to keep this tutorial on your computer for easy reference, you may download a PDF here: How to Set Layer Panel Options in Photoshop.

If you are a visual learner, you can view this tutorial on SnickerdoodleDesigns YouTube Channel  and on theStudio’s YouTube Channel.

Please head over to YouTube and take a minute to Follow both channels.  Each Channel will have some exclusive videos, so by following both channels, you will be sure not to miss a thing!