How to Use Grayscale Templates

Step by step answers to all your questions about using grayscale templates. Free directions and videos!

01 What is a Grayscale Template?

01 What is a Grayscale Template?

A grayscale template is layered PSD document designed by a professional designer. You simply replace the layers in the template with your own photos, papers, and elements. This allows you to quickly create a well designed scrapbook page.

02 Why Work with a Duplicate?

02 Why Work with a Duplicate?

Work with a duplicate of the original grayscale template so that  you do not run the risk of altering the original file in any way. To do that:

  • In the Menu Bar, choose File > Duplicate.
  • When the dialog box pops up, click OK.
  • Close the original grayscale template.

03 Where Do I Start?

03 Where Do I Start?

When working with a grayscale template, a good plan is to start with the background layer and then work your way up the Layers panel. This process seems to make the most sense since that is how you would generally create a scrapbook book page from scratch.

04 How do I Change the Background Layer?

04 How do I Change the Background Layer?

To change the background layer of a grayscale template:

  • In the Layers panel, activate the Background layer.
  • Open (File > Open) a background paper.
  • Get the Move tool.
  • Holding down the Shift key, click on the background paper and drag it onto the template.
  • Close the original background paper.

05 How Do I Add Items to My Template?

05 How Do I Add Items to My Template?

To add items to a grayscale template:

  • Open (File > Open) photo, background paper, or element.
  • Get the Move tool.
  • In the Layers panel, activate the layer you want your item to be placed above.
  • Click on the item and drag it onto the grayscale template.
  • Close the original item.

06 What is a Clipping Mask?

06 What is a Clipping Mask?

A clipping mask is a shape in the template that you attach something to. You attach a photo to a photo clipping mask and a paper to a paper clipping mask. This changes the size and shape of the photo or paper to match the size and shape of the clipping mask.

07 How Do I Clip a Paper to a Paper Clipping Mask Layer?

07 How Do I Clip a Paper to a Paper Clipping Mask Layer?

To clip a paper to a paper clipping mask layer:

  • Add a background paper directly above a Paper Clipping Mask layer.
  • In the Layers panel, activate the background paper layer.
  • In the Menu Bar, choose Layer > Create Clipping Mask.
  • Earlier versions of Photoshop Elements will say Group With Previous.

08 How Do I Clip a Photo to a Photo Clipping Mask Layer?

08 How Do I Clip a Photo to a Photo Clipping Mask Layer?

To clip a photo to a photo clipping mask layer:

  • Per previous instructions, add a photo directly above a Photo Clipping Mask layer.
  • In the Layers panel, activate the photo layer.
  • In the Menu Bar, choose Layer > Create Clipping Mask.
  • Earlier versions of Photoshop Elements will say Group With Previous.

09 How Do I Resize and Reposition a Photo or Paper within a Clipping Mask?

09 How Do I Resize and Reposition a Photo or Paper within a Clipping Mask?

To resize the photo or paper:

  • Per previous instructions, clip a photo or paper to a Clipping Mask layer.
  • In the Layers panel, activate the photo or paper layer that you want resized.
  • Get the Move tool.
  • Click on a corner handle of the Bounding Box to get the Transform options.
  • If you do not see the Bounding Box, press Ctrl T (Mac: Cmd T) to get the Transform options.
  • Click on a corner handle of the Bounding Box and drag in to make the item smaller or drag out to make it larger.
  • Photoshop users will need to press and hold the Shift key to maintain proportions.

To reposition the photo or paper:

  • Click inside the Bounding Box and drag the photo or paper around.
  • Make sure the boundaries of the photo or paper remain outside the boundaries of the clipping mask.
  • When satisfied with the changes, double click inside the Bounding Box to commit the changes.

10 How Do I Replace an Element Layer with an Element?

10 How Do I Replace an Element Layer with an Element?

To replace an element layer with an element:

  • Per previous instructions, add an element above an Element layer in the Layers panel.
  • Per previous instructions, resize and reposition the element.
  • In the Layers panel, click on the Visibility icon of the Element template layer to hide it.

11 How Do I Add a Shadow to a Template Layer?

11 How Do I Add a Shadow to a Template Layer?

To add a shadow to a template layer:

  • In the Layers panel, activate the layer you want to add a shadow to.
  • In the Menu Bar, choose Window > Effects to open the Effect panel.
  • In the Effects panel, click on the Layer Style icon and choose Drop Shadow from the drop down menu.
  • Click on the Low Drop Shadow icon and click Apply.
  • Close the Effects panel.
  • Photoshop users need to click on the Layer Styles icon located in the Layers Panel.

12 How Do I Change a Shadow That Is Already Present?

12 How Do I Change a Shadow That Is Already Present?

To change the shadow settings of a template layer:

  • Double click on the Effects icon of the layer you want to change.
  • When the dialog box pops up, adjust the settings to your liking and click OK.

13 How Do I Add or Subtract Photo Layers?

13 How Do I Add or Subtract Photo Layers?

To reduce the number of photos in a template:

  • Click on the Visibility icon of the photo template layers that you want to remove.

To add to the number of photos in a template:

  • In the Layers panel, activate a photo layer you'd like to duplicate. It is best to do this before any photos have been clipped down.
  • Press Ctrl J (Mac: Cmd J) to Duplicate the layer.
  • Using your keyboard arrow keys, move the new photo layer to its new home.

14 What Format(s) Do I Save My Scrapbook Page In?

14 What Format(s) Do I Save My Scrapbook Page In?

Save your template or scrapbook page in the PSD (Photoshop) format for working and archiving. To do that:

  • In the Menu Bar, choose File > Save As from the menu bar.
  • In the dialog box, make sure the format says Photoshop PSD, give the document a unique name, and click OK.

Save your template or scrapbook page in the JPEG format for printing and sharing.

  • In the Menu Bar, choose File > Save As from the menu bar.
  • In the dialog box, choose JPEG for the format, give the document a unique name, and click OK.
  • In the JPEG dialog box, choose a Quality of 8 or higher and click OK.