Photoshop files go through lots of iterations before anything is ever final. The only way to keep things organized is to name your layers, group them properly, and name your grouped layers. It seems simple enough but the creative process and deadlines don’t stop so you can rename a layer. Often, you just add more layers to try something new, and before you know it, you’re on layer 100 unable to find what you’re looking for or remember why you added something. While you may, or may not be inclined to name layers, you might still want a way to keep track of ideas and notes in Photoshop is the best way to do it.
Photoshop has a built-in notes tool. This means you won’t have to bother with add-ons or third-party apps that might not work well with Photoshop or that clash with the workflow. It’s been there for quite some time but is still relatively unknown possibly because it’s placed very poorly.
Notes In Photoshop
The Notes tool lives inside the eyedropper tool set. Click and hold the eyedropper tool and look at the menu that opens listing all the tools in it. You will see a Note tool there. Select it to activate the tool.
You can add a note in Photoshop by clicking anywhere inside the canvas. Notes cannot be anchored to a specific layer so it really doesn’t matter which layer or group or path you’ve selected. Click wherever you want to place the note and a little icon will appear to indicate a note has been added.
When you click inside the canvas, the Notes window is enabled automatically. You hide/show it from Windows>Notes on the Photoshop title bar. There are no character limits on how long a note can be. Just start typing in the little window, and tap the Enter key when you’re done.
Each note you add will have its own little icon on the canvas. You can delete an individual note by right-clicking it and selecting the delete option and you can delete all notes by right-clicking any one note and selecting the delete all option.
The notes’ icons may make it difficult to work. If you find they’re intrusive but you don’t want to delete them, go to View>Show and uncheck Notes. This will hide all the icons for the notes you’ve added but it will not delete them.
It’s hard to believe anchoring notes to layers simply isn’t a feature in Photoshop. The notes are like comments you leave on your canvas and they aren’t meant to help you explain why you added an effect to a layer, or what your thought process was when you added it. The next version of Photoshop is going to be released this year and we can only hope Adobe made some of its tools a little more useful.