Would you miss "copy" being added to layers in PS?

We’ve heard a number of requests (e.g. here, here) for the ability to make Photoshop stop adding the word “copy” to layer names when duplicating layers. Out of curiosity, does anyone actually like this behavior? If not, it should be easy enough simply to stop adding “copy.” If some people really like the existing behavior, however, we’d do well to add a preference.
Therefore please speak up if you like the existing behavior. If you’d be happy with “copy” going away, great, but no need to speak up.

119 thoughts on “Would you miss "copy" being added to layers in PS?

  1. I think it really depends on different cases. Mostly I don’t care about the added “copy”, but actually there are some cases where I don’t like this behaviour much (e.g. when duplicating many layers). A preference would be the best way to raise a smile on both haters and lovers of “copy”.

  2. I ALWAYS end up deleting copy. I’d be more than happy for it to go away without my help.
    However, it would be helpful to have some temporary indication for the ‘copied’ layers, so I know which ones I need to rename.

  3. Don’t change a thing!
    I know how to type and can change it myself if I need to.
    It’s easier to scan the layers for “copy” when I’m working than to find the “copy-less” name.
    Don’t you dare screw up my flow!
    How’s that?

  4. Get rid of “copy,” but add a preference for sequential identifiers: “1, 2, 3,” “01, 02, 03,” “A, B, C,” or None.

  5. I would hate to see it go.
    I usually duplicate a layer a couple of times and like knowing which was the original and which were copies.
    Nice to make it a preference. Then those who hate can make it go away and those that like it can keep it.
    Best of both worlds.

  6. I vote for a change to sequential identifiers as well.
    I’m just wondering where you’d add a preference setting. In the panel options? (I hope).

  7. I would say that the sequential identifiers would be the best default, IMHO. But, providing the ability to customize what PS does would, of course, cover all use cases. Maybe a simple set of options, i.e. Add Sequential Identifier to Copied Layers, Add ___ to Copied Layers (with a default of “Copy”) would provide the best user experience overall?

  8. You can lose it provided an alternate means is used to denote duplicated layers.
    Layer 1
    Layer 1-2
    Layer 1-3 etc.
    While I mostly delete the word copy, it is only because I am renaming the layer anyway. With that in mind, I’d like to see a space for the name in the Layer Styles dialog for those (many) times when I fail to hit the name with a double click.
    See Here

  9. make it a preference ! and offer us the sequential rules 🙂
    i want to choose “_copy_01” or “image_04”, automatically. it ciuld help when preparing storyboards or decompositing layers.

  10. Yes, sequential identifiers.
    Sure, “greenlayer copy 4” IS sequential, but losing “_copy_” would be nice.

  11. I usually name my layers but when I don’t I like the way “copy” gives me a clue that I’m on the duplicate and not the original layer. I wouldn’t object if it was gone but given the option I’m sure I would turn it on. -Thanks-

  12. There’s a lot of sound reasoning in the earlier comments on this topic. I find “copy” to be a useful clue as to the where the elements on a layer originated, especially on files where more than one person has worked on them. The option to turn this behavior off would be helpful to many I’m sure, but the inconvenience of losing “copy” altogether would be something I’d rather avoid. In other words, don’t dump the feature, just improve it!

  13. Don’t change it! Or at least offer the option to use the “$layer_name copy” system. I have a LOT of actions that rely on duplicating layers (and using those dupe layers) that would probably be messed up if you started changing things.
    Now, with that said, most of the time I wind up renaming the layer right away, so it’s not a big deal in that sense.

  14. Whoops!
    [Thanks for the suggestion. Unfortunately that whole area of the UI is painfully overloaded already. (Ever gotten layer styles when you meant to rename, or vice versa?) Layers on its own can’t possibly keep up with the richness that’s been added to Photoshop. We’ve been wanting to revise the UI for a long time, but it’ll take a while longer. –J.]

  15. Like others, while I’m not wedded to the word “copy,” I do need some sort of identifier to indicate a, um, copy. Especially for duplicated text layers.

  16. I sorta agree that the word “copy” is kinda lame. I think I would much rather see the copy number in parentheses behind the layer name. If you’re deliberately copying a layer, you kinda know it’s a copy, but the number is still useful. Or at least that’s how I see it. 🙂

  17. Both actions and scripts need the layers to have unique names to work with layers properly.
    Photoshop adds copy to documents when duplicating so doing the same with layers is at least consistent.
    I really don’t see much difference between ‘Layer 1 copy’ and ‘Layer 1-1’ except it is clearer which is a copy.
    I can accept any naming convention as as long as there is an option to keep the names unique.

  18. I don’t much care whether or not you append the word “copy” because either way, I almost always rename every new layer immediately. If you could add a feature that sends an actual physical fist flying out of Photoshop to punch a user in the face every time he or she fails to give a new layer a properly descriptive name, that would be a great boon to those of us who are subjected to other people’s haphazardly named layers.
    I too think some kind of sequential identification would be a great default behavior with the option to turn it off for those users who don’t want it.

  19. How about making Photoshop stop crashing when I tell it to quit in Snow Leopard?Adobe’s CS apps are the only ones that do it. So it’s hard to believe it’s Apple’s fault all the way back to Leopard.
    [Are you running 10.6.2? If so and if you keep seeing problems, please shoot me a note (jnack at adobe). –J.]
    Then go with the minor stuff. Like giving us a preference to stop using the word copy. But for criminy sakes, when I save a PSD file as a jpeg, for the love of all that is holy stop adding copy to the name of the file! 😉
    [I believe we actually did that, provided you’re saving to a different folder. –J.]

  20. Keep the appended ” copy” when duplicating with a command on an individual layer or group folder (not the group’s contents though!).
    Leave it off when duplicating with an Option drag.
    In particular the added ” copy” is redundant when the duplicate is created outside of the group of the original. This happens when option dragging to another group or when duplicating a layer’s parent group.

  21. I’d prefer seeing ‘copy’ going away myself and being replaced with something similar to what other applications do with duplicates, eg,

  22. what about an open input line after you’ve created a layer copy?
    Type the fuck into your input line and everybody is happy – you can do “copy” if you want, you can do “-1-1”-stuff, and so on.
    Oh no, or would that be innovative? Then Photoshop has to drop that.
    [Step off with your hostility, dude. –J.]

  23. It would be nice if PS didn’t add ” copy” to the end of the filename even if it is being saved to the same folder. On Mac OS X, you can have “MyFile.psd” and “MyFile.jpg” in the same folder without any problems.

  24. Have a preference that allows you to choose different numbering patterns (e.g. “1”, “2”, “3” or “A”, “B”, “C” or “copy” etc.) but that also gives you the option of naming the layer as soon as you create it. This doesn’t want to be a dialog box—just make the layer renaming field (that appears when you double-click a layer’s name) appear (and be in focus) when a layer is duplicated.

  25. I actually thought it was some technical workaround for photoshop’s inability to have multiple layers with same name. But some time ago I found out that Photoshop did not have such an inability, it works just fine with layers with same name. So I have no idea why is “copy” added to my layer names, it’s meaningless anyway.

  26. Actually, I like “copy” being added, however a sequential addendum would do as well. Names like “Layer 1 copy 7” always remind me of the ever growing need to get along and rename all layers (which should have been done much earlier) 😉
    Maybe this would be nice: If you change the original layer name, all copied layers (that are not manually named) should rename themselves accordingly.

  27. In my opinion it’s not this big of a problem.
    But I wrote two scripts for copying layers without “copy” added.

    var AL = app.activeDocument.activeLayer;
    var myName = AL.name;
    AL = AL.duplicate();
    AL.name = myName;

    var doc = activeDocument;
    var doc2 = doc.duplicate ();
    doc2.activeLayer.duplicate ( doc );
    doc2.close( SaveOptions.DONOTSAVECHANGES );

  28. I like to see what its a copy of but I am not worried about it saying ‘copy’, a sequential ref would be fine for me and even a pref to switch this on/off to cater for everyone.

  29. I would hate to have to redo all the actions I have so please don’t change it!
    I can’t really see that it is that much of a hassle to rename if you want.

  30. To clarify:
    /****first script****/
    var AL = app.activeDocument.activeLayer;
    var myName = AL.name;
    AL = AL.duplicate();
    AL.name = myName;
    /****second script****/
    var doc = activeDocument;
    var doc2 = doc.duplicate ();
    doc2.activeLayer.duplicate ( doc );
    doc2.close( SaveOptions.DONOTSAVECHANGES );

  31. You can get duplicated grouped layers without “copy” if you duplicate a document containing the first template group and drag the groups back to your original document. Maybe less work than renaming hundreds of layers by hand?

  32. I’ve written an ExtendScript file to cycle through PSD’s and remove all copy labels. It would be much better if there were simpler solution – an option in preferences to specify your own convention would be best.

  33. Yeah, please include an option to disable this. Might be usefull for some users, but I always end up deleting it. AND, when you collaborate with people from other countries, it is a big confusion, because germans have “Kopie” and americans have “Copy” and so on… which means the automatic counter doesn’t work eather!

  34. Perhaps when a copied layer is called for, the layer would just default to the “rename” highlight hypertext.
    Then the user could have 2 choices, just start typing a custom name or, if no name required, just hit “enetr” key and copy layer name reverts to “layer 1/2/3 sequential_

  35. I would like to add a suggestion here:
    If you copy a layer using Ctrl+J and then rename the layer and then double-click the layer’s name to edit it while you’re recording an Action, this rename won’t get recorded. Instead you have to rename it using the Layer Properties dialog.
    I would prefer if renaming a layer inside the layers panel would be recorded in an Action.

  36. Thomas Maier was a wee bit harsh in his language above, but I agree with the suggestion: dialog for renaming opens on copying the layer and you can rename or dismiss with default choice being adding “copy” to the layer name.
    [No way! People *loved* it when we got rid of the naming dialog in PS7. We can’t regress. –J.]

  37. Depending on the alternative default behavior I am in the keep it camp. I am just lazy and self destructive enough to lose my way in the layer stack. Without the “copy” as a bread crumb trail I might never find my way back to safety…

  38. I prefer the copy go away. If I don’t like the same name on each layer I can change. But copy does bug me because after a few copies it loses its meaning. Everything is a copy of anything on another layer.

  39. The “Copy” label should only be added to the first level item duplicated. Not to every single items contained within this item.
    [Agreed. We should change that behavior regardless of the preference regarding “copy” at the main level. –J.]
    When you duplicate a folder containing files in Mac OS or Windows, it adds the “Copy” label only to the root object. It would be a nightmare if it added Copy to all sub-files. Photoshop should behave the same.
    As for people whining about their actions and stuff – you are selfish. We would still have the technologies from the 19th century if everyone had the same thinking approach. Design is about moving forward and improvements. Adapt yourself to the world, don’t let the world adapt to you.

  40. I’d like to echo my friend’s comment:
    I would love to see it go. There’s a suggestion in the comments to lose “copy” but retain the sequential identifiers:
    Layer 1
    Layer 1-2
    Layer 1-3, etc.
    That’d be great, especially if I could specify the appended text in Preferences.

  41. I’d like to echo my friend’s comment:
    I would love to see it go. There’s a suggestion in the comments to lose “copy” but retain the sequential identifiers:
    Layer 1
    Layer 1-2
    Layer 1-3, etc.
    That’d be great, especially if I could specify the appended text in Preferences.

  42. i like the “copy X” addition. right now i’m duping images of leaves, then i’ll rotate and scale each one to look random. i like going back to the master layer to then dupe/edit. i know i could use smart layers and keep the res., but i need to color/desaturate each one.
    i love pshop, been a user since v. 1.1

  43. Maybe a switch to toggle that on and off would be good.
    I don’t need that “copy”, or I don’t sequential identifiers and I’d be happy if I could get rid of them. But it would be ok for me, if that wasn’t a default setting.

  44. I’d say make it a preference setting… sometimes it comes in handy, other times its just really annoying. But then again, why not just rename the layers to something more appropriate to the project instead of having 15 “Layer 2 copy” layers. It’s a personal preference.

  45. Maybee some dudes like to know this shortcut: CTRL+ALT+J | Command+ALT+J – calls the “name layer dialog” while copy layer. The ability to give layers intelligent names according to your workflow.

  46. John, just installed 10.6.2 at work, and it’s fixed! Halleluja!!! 🙂
    And I hadn’t noticed it didn’t do it in different folders. But I have Default Folder specifically to keep me in the same folder. So it kind of misses the point of the whole idea not being good. But I’ll live with it.
    But it’s a step in the right direction. Thanks!

  47. Leave the word “copy”! It makes easier to identify which layer is the original and which is not! I vote for “copy” to stay! Don’t remove it, please!

  48. Here’s an idea – when you copy a layer the name becomes a blank text box with a blinking cursor in it so you can immediately type in whatever name you want.

  49. Here’s an idea – when you copy a layer the name becomes a blank text box with a blinking cursor in it so you can immediately type in whatever name you want.

  50. I think if u copy a folder, the word copy should be on the folder but the layers inside should not be renamed, it is frustrating, or another option might be, that the folder will become colored since u can color layers in Photoshop and like that u can visualize properly 🙂

  51. You don’t always need to “revise” (change existing). Sometimes it’s find to “add”.
    I would love a 2nd “advanced” layers panel where the focus is on different aspects of layers and gets used differently. I’d probably have both layer panels open all the time.
    I’d really like it if the currently selected layer is much much taller than the rest, leaving lots of room for more info/larger click targets so I don’t accidentally click effects when I want to rename.
    –What is 2+2? (required):–
    That question is insensitive to the feelings of both illiterate and innumerate people.

  52. Again, there should be 2 things for this. 2 interfaces to preferences. One is identical to how it is now, the other is like Firfox’s about:config interface.
    The non-technical/resistant-to-change people will never need to use anything in about:config.
    Everybody’s happy.
    Why does the comment for take soooo long to post?

  53. “but the layers inside should not be renamed”
    I never realized this until JUST NOW. Wow, that’s so annoying.

  54. Slightly different topic, but my heart jumped when i saw the first part of the post title because I absolutely hate the word “copy” being added to the end of the filename when saving. The “already exists” dialog is enough to stop accidental overwriting of files, and most of the time I want it to overwrite anyway. To get rid of this “copy” would be fantastic.

  55. I’d actually like it if Copy stuck around yet it was a preference to turn it off. I usually use it out of laziness to re-name the layer… therefore i know the layer is a copy of an original layer i may not have altered.

  56. God yes – remove it! I am not always that good at renaming everything, and it sucks when you end up with “Layer 1 copy copy 2 copy”. Learn from After Effects, it handles duplication nicely I think.

  57. Hmm there’s a factor that people are forgetting or not taking into account. Actions. Within actions its sometimes necessary to target specfic layers. If copied layers retain the same name, then these actions will no longer have the ability to target pre-existing correcty named layers.
    For those of us that work regularly with automation as part of our workflow, taking away the ‘copy’ will create a problem here.
    Whilst I agree in principle that ‘copy’ is annoying, its not annoying enough that you want to interfere so seriously with an important functionalty that exists. The ability to automate Photoshop is one of its greatest and most undervalued strengths. believe me.
    Best solution? – a preference or layers panel setting “add ‘copy’ to duplicated layers” – so both behaviors become possible

  58. Please get rid of the word “copy”! My work files are so large and complicated, it can take me an hour just to get rid of the stupid “copy” at the end of layers. My files have to be meticulously organized before the next stop in production, so they cant be messy (eg. apple copy copy 5)

  59. OMG please make it go away!!! It’s so annoying… as someone who names all layers and groups very neatly, I see no reason to add that messy word copy to the end???

  60. I’m a graphic artist and software developer, and my perspective is that the best route on both sides of the table (user/developer) is a simple preference checkbox for the copy amendment. It should be checked ON by default, so those who don’t want anything to change aren’t affected. The rest of us can go into Preferences, uncheck it, and never see “Layername copy 23” again.

  61. Make it a preference so I can turn it off. I find myself spending way too much time cleaning this up when sending production psds to my clients for slicing and dicing. Thanks.

    I can’t imagine how much time I’ve wasted over the years deleting the word “copy” from all duplicated layers.
    My vote is to make it a pref.

  63. Remove “copy” from layer duplication – it adds unnecessary work to designers who are trying to keep their layers well organised.
    Especially when duplicating layer groups, the “copy” suffix is a nightmare to work with.

  64. I would love to see this thing killed (thanks for script Daan!).
    Why not provide for both cases and make it an option in the pallet menu (like the thumbnail sizes)?

  65. I vote for removing “copy”. I always delete it.
    It has been helpful to read comments from the copyphiles to see why it is important to them. I am not a fan of another preferences entry either, but that is probably the best way to appease everyone. FYI, I am the type that names ALL his layers 🙂

  66. The appending of copy is the bain of my Photoshop world. I am a neat freak and getting rid of it on every single copied layer is such a pain. Copying folders appends every single layer within that folder with the word copy.
    Please, please, please give us a preferences option to change it!

  67. I always tidy-up my layers and removing the “copy” word is always a pain, ideally having the chance of adding a custom default value from within the prefs might be a good solution.

  68. I like to keep my layer labels as clean as possible. I waste so much time removing things like “copy copy 4” from my labels and this happens alot since I’m prototyping UIs and duplicating many UI elements contained within layer groups. I would love to see this as a preference, with the default set to no “copy”. Also, can you expand the hit area for double-clicking to rename labels? I often end up invoking the layer properties window by accident.

  69. Even if you duplicate a layer group? That maybe has 15 layers within it? And another 2 layer groups within it? Renaming those would take minutes, not seconds.
    I get the impression that for photo editors that only work with a handful of layers anyway it’s not a problem; but if you’re a UI designer like me, who can be working with hundreds of layers split into maybe 5 layer groups (that have the full depth of layer groups within them) then ‘copy’ is a massive pain in the ass and is very messy and redundant.
    I don’t mind if copy text s on by default, but there should have ALWAYS been an option to turn it off.
    There are times when it seems redundant for everyone as well, such as with smart objects. The point of smart objects is that they’re instances of each other; so why would you need to denote a ‘copy’ of something that is both identicle and centrally controlled?
    Choice is the key here.

  70. is there an update on this? i too work with many layers and layer groups, and find the ‘name copy 4’ agitating. i won’t mind un-checking a box in preferences to see it go.
    [Yes, we added an option and improved the behavior in CS5. –J.]

  71. I don’t like it at all. I can tell when I’ve duplicated a layer and sometimes I want an exact replica without having “copy”, “copy 2” etc cluttering up my layers palette. Get rid of it.

  72. It’s not easy to find, but you CAN set this as a preference in CS5 by going to the Layers menu and selecting “Panel Options” The last checkbox (which is selected by default) allows you to choose whether you want to add “copy” to copied layers and groups”.

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