New panel, scripts let you batch-eliminate "copy" in PS layer names

God bless scripters and the spirt of “Just Do It.” Responding to reader feedback here about the desire to remove “copy” from duplicated layers, scripter Mike Hale used Configurator to create a simple panel (screenshot) that does just that–nuking “copy {#}” from all layers or just the selected layers.

  • The panel for Photoshop CS4 is downloadable from It’s wrapped as an MXP file, meaning you can simply double click it to install it using Adobe Extension Manager. After installing the panel, relaunch Photoshop and look under Window->Extensions for “RemoveCopy.”
  • Sometimes Extension Manager doesn’t play well with Vista (as I think it requires you to be logged in as an administrator), so I’ve posted the panel in a simple ZIP package as well. You can unzip the contents, then place the panel folder into “Adobe Photoshop CS4/Plug-ins/Panels.”
  • You might want to use the scripts on their own (not via the panel), especially if you like to assign keyboard shortcuts to commands. You might also want to use them in CS3 or older versions of Photoshop. Therefore I’ve posted just the scripts as well. Drag the expanded contents to “Adobe Photoshop CS{whatever}/Presets/Scripts,” then relaunch PS. Once they’re installed, you can choose Edit->Keyboard Shortcuts & assign shortcuts if you’d like.

Thanks to fellow coders Trevor Morris and Jeff Tranberry for their quick help in making this happen. Please give Mike props & speak up if you encounter any problems.

10 thoughts on “New panel, scripts let you batch-eliminate "copy" in PS layer names

  1. That was fast! I’m using CS3 and the script worked perfectly on a 1 GB file that had a million “copys”. “Flower 13 copy 2” right to “Flower 13”. Perfect! Thanks! Saved me so much time, and avoidance of the dreaded pinwheel when I try to rename layers too quickly.
    [See, and you didn’t even have to ask your dad to write the script. 🙂 –J.]

  2. You sassin’ me Nack?
    [Yes, though I should shut up or you’ll never consent to sneaking pics of my sons into some fleeting background on Wonder Pets… –J.]

  3. Hmh …
    PS CS5 a.k.a. “Panelshop”?
    I’m very afraid :/
    [Remind me not to try to hook you up in the future, Thomas. –J.]

  4. While I love this script (being a compulsive layer namer), I see the primary use for this as being cleanup for PSDs provided by other people who don’t share my…compulsion.
    Easier to just name them as you go along right?
    CTRL + SHIFT + N creates a new layer and lets you name it.
    CTRL + ALT + J dupes selected layer (and/or current selection) and lets you name it.
    CTRL + SHIFT + ALT + J cuts the current selection to a new layer and lets you name it.

  5. Will this work in CS5 as well?
    [It should, but note that CS5 includes a preference for omitting “copy” in the first place if you’d like. –J.]

  6. Hey John –
    Long time reader, first-time commenter.
    I’m a Storyboard Artist at Nickelodeon that uses PS for storyboarding. I set up some actions that create named/colored layers for our characters (“Robot 001” inside a “Robot” group). What I’d love to have is a script that automatically duplicates
    “Robot 001” and increments it by one to “Robot 002”. Do you know of such a script? Google has been unhelpful, except for pointing me here.
    We’re on CS4, so I can’t test whether the CS5 option of not adding “copy” to the layer name still increments the #.
    –jim m.

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