• How to Use Numbered Layered Templates with Photos, Papers or Just One Photo

    Katie Pertiet's Numbered Layered Template Pack is a wonderful set of 11 layered templates. Each template features a large number that can be filled with photos, papers or a combination of the two.

    To fill the template pieces with photos or papers, open the template and a paper or photo.
    • I find it easier to work with these if you temporarily hide the text path layer by clicking the layer visibility icon (looks like an eye) on the left side of the top layer.
    • Target the first "photo or paper" layer that you want to cover.
    • Drag the paper onto the template using the Move tool. The paper should come over one position above the "photo or paper" layer that you are covering. If it didn't, move the paper up or down the Layers Panel until it is in position.
    • Press Alt Ctrl G (Mac: Opt Cmd G) on the keyboard to clip the photo placeholder to the paper (or photo.) Note: On older versions of Elements, press Ctrl G to create the clipping mask.
    • The paper will take on the shape of the placeholder, covering it as though it is glued to the shape within the number. This is called creating a clipping mask.
    • Repeat the clipping mask process to fill the other photo or paper placeholders.
    • Click the Text Path layer visibility icon again to make it visible and then double click the T icon in the layers panel. This selects all the text. Begin typing to replace the text.


    But what if you want to create a page where there is only ONE photo or paper inside the number? Here's an easy way:
    • Open the numbered template.
    • Choose Image > Duplicate from the Menu bar. In PSE, choose File > Duplicate. Click OK to open the template copy.
    • Close the original template file. This keeps you from accidentally overwriting the original.
    • Now click the top "photo or paper" layer. This is generally the 2nd layer in the layers panel. Hold the Shift key and click the last "photo or paper" layer in the Layers panel. This selects all the "photo or paper" layers at once. Be sure not to include the background or mat layer in the selection.
    • Press Ctrl E (Mac: Cmd E) on the keyboard or choose Layer > Merge Layers from the Menu bar. This merges all the selected shapes into one layer.
    • Now you can drag a photo or paper onto the document and create a clipping mask to attach the paper or photo to the merged layer.


    Numbered Layered Templates are incredibly versatile whether you are documenting a birthday, creating a cover page for a certain year, making a list of favorites, celebrating an anniversary, designing a year-in-review page, or a listing "reasons why..."
    Using photos, papers, or merging the placeholders gives the template a different look and function each time.