The Layers docker is for one of the core concepts of Krita: Layer Management. You can add, delete, rename, duplicate and do many other things to layers here.
At the top there are four controls. Two of them are layer properties, the blending mode and the opacity. But there are also two smaller buttons. One is the filter option. This allows you to filter all existing layers by either color label, or since Krita 5.0 by layer name. The second button allows you to control the thumbnail size of the layers. Some people prefer large thumbnails, others want them really small.
The Layer Stack¶
You can select the active layer here. Using the Shift and Ctrl keys you can select multiple layers and drag-and-drop them. You can also change the visibility, edit state, alpha inheritance and rename layers. You can open and close groups, and you can drag and drop layers, either to reorder them, or to put them in groups.
The Layer name, just do double- to make it editable, and press the Enter key to finish editing.
- Color Label¶
This is a color that you can set on the layer. the layer to get a context menu to assign a color to it. You can then later filter on these colors.
- Blending Mode¶
This will set the Blending Modes of the layer.
This will set the opacity of the whole layer.
An eye-icon. Clicking this can hide a whole layer.
- Edit State (Or layer Locking)¶
A lock Icon. Clicking this will prevent the layer from being edited, useful when handling large amounts of layers.
- Alpha Lock¶
This will prevent the alpha of the layer being edited. In more plain terms: This will prevent the transparency of a layer being changed. Useful in coloring images.
- Pass-through mode¶
Only available on Group Layers, this allows you to have the blending modes of the layers within affect the layers outside the group. Doesn’t work with masks currently, therefore these have a strike-through on group layers set to pass-through.
- Alpha Inheritance¶
This will use the alpha of all the peers of this layer as a transparency mask. For a full explanation see Introduction to Layers and Masks.
- Open or Close Layers¶
(An Arrow Icon) This will allow you to access sub-layers of a layer. Seen with masks and groups.
- Onion Skin¶
This is only available on animated layers, and toggles the onion skin feature.
- Layer Style¶
This is only available on layers which have a Layer Styles assigned. The button allows you to switch between on/off quickly.
- Thumbnail Image¶
This shows a miniature image with the layer contents. If you Ctrl + on it then you can make a selection from the contents of that layer (see Hot keys and Sticky Keys section below).
To edit these properties on multiple layers at once, press the properties option when you have multiple layers selected or press the F3 key. There, to change the names of all layers, the checkbox before Name should be ticked after which you can type in a name. Krita will automatically add a number behind the layer names. You can change other layer properties like visibility, opacity, lock states, etc. too.
Hot keys and Sticky Keys¶
Shift key for selecting multiple contiguous layers.
Ctrl key for select or deselect layer without affecting other layers selection.
Ctrl + + drag shortcut makes a duplicate of the selected layers, for you to drag and drop.
Ctrl + E shortcut for merging a layer down. This also merges selected layers, layer styles and will keep selection masks intact. Using the Ctrl + E shortcut on a single layer with a mask will merge down the mask into the layer.
Ctrl + Shift + E shortcut merges all layers.
R + shortcut allows you to select layers on canvas, similar to picking colors directly on canvas. Use the Shift + R + shortcut for multiple layers.
Ins key for adding a new layer.
Shift + Ins key for adding a new vector layer.
Ctrl + G shortcut will create a group layer. If multiple layers are selected, they are put into the group layer.
Ctrl + Shift + G shortcut will quickly set-up a clipping group, with the selected layers added into the group, and a new layer added on top with alpha-inheritance turned on, ready for painting!
Ctrl + Alt + G shortcut will ungroup layers inside a group.
Alt + shortcut for isolated view of a layer. This will maintain between layers till the same action is repeated again.
Page Up and Page Down keys for switching between layers.
Ctrl + Page Up and Ctrl + Page Down shortcuts will move the selected layers up and down.
Ctrl + over a layer’s thumbnail to replace the current selection with a new one created from the contents of that layer.
Ctrl + Shift + over a layer’s thumbnail to add a new selection created from the contents of that layer to the current selection.
Ctrl + Alt + over a layer’s thumbnail to subtract a new selection created from the contents of that layer from the current selection.
Ctrl + Shift + Alt + over a layer’s thumbnail to intersect the current selection with a new selection created from the contents of that layer.