To export a single layer or a group of layers in Photoshop you must have only those relevant layer(s) that you want to export visible. (So hide all the layers that you don’t want to export and keep the relevant one’s visible.) Then go to File – Save for web and save your image.
To understand this process in depth please have a look at this tutorial.
Select the layer you want to export to a new file.
In the top menu, Click “Layer” –> “Duplicate Layer…”
Note that there are TWO options. One is for the name of the new layer…
The second is for the destination of the new layer, either your current document or a New document. Select “New.”
The previous answers won’t autocrop to the layer size as barraponto points out. Smart Objects fixes this and is more efficient:
- Right click the layer in the Layers Panel and select Convert to Smart Object
- Right click the layer again and select Edit contents
CTRL+click multiple layers before converting to a Smart Object to group them.
I would add to @Daniel Garman’s answer.
- Duplicate Layer (either in menu on right click on the layer) –> NEW
(also gives the option to give it a name at that time so you don’t lose what the layer was called before you get to the save step)
- Image –> Trim (which will give you options of removing transparent pixels)
- File –> Save for web (CMD-SHIFT-OPT-S on OSX)
That’s a pretty quick way to do it.
You can do this by going to
Export layers to Files
The traditional way to export only part of a layer is to use Slices:
Hide any overlapping layers that contain pixels you don’t want to
export (if they don’t overlap the area you’re interested in, you can leave them showing).
Create a slice for the section you’re interested in, using either
the Layers menu: “New Layer Based Slice” (which is fairly automatic)
or else manually create it with the Slice tool. Make sure your new
slice is the only one that’s selected (there’s a slice select tool
right next to the one that creates slices, in the same flyout menu).
In the Save for Web dialog, make sure the slice is still
selected.(That dialog has its own slice select tool if you need it.)
During the save process, there’s a popdown menu; make sure you’ve
chosen Selected Slices so it doesn’t save everything.
Most people don’t use slices any more, since they were designed for the earlier days of the Web when individual images were often sliced up and then reassembled in HTML — rarely done now. But I still find them useful for this purpose.
Unfortunately, the interface for slices hasn’t been updated and they can be a little awkward to use, but see whether they help in your situation.
the old fashioned traditional way of doing this – say pre-CS would work as well, in this case:
- reduce any layered artwork to a single layer – you can undo this later
- option/alt click that layer in the LAYER pallette – this will give you a selection of just that layers artwork and not the surrounding canvas
- copy — edit>copy or option/alt C ==== you now have a copy of this layer on the clipboard
- make a new document — when you do you will notice that the new document will now be the size of what you copied onto the clipboard
- your new document will contain just a plain background …. just hit “paste” –> edit>paste or optioin/alt V
- at this point you have 2 separate documents — you can go back to the ORIGINAL document and undo any layer flattening back to its original condition