If you’re familiar with Layer Styles, you’ve probably run into the irritating fact that you can’t simply “Rasterize Layer” to flatten styles. Many people create a new layer and then merge it with the styled layer. However, you can’t create an action that will do this as a shortcut.

Download File

FlattenStyles.atn (284 bytes) Download FlattenStyles.atn

Photoshop is a powerful tool with plenty of features, but there are always a few simple things missing. We can usually remedy this by using actions, but occasionally something won’t work the way we think or want.

Update: Photoshop CS6 now contains an option for rasterizing layer styles, but this method is still useful for the many folks still on CS5 or lower.

The solution is to use the Smart Object capability. Create an action that does the following (or simply download the one above):

  • Right-click the styled layer and select Convert to Smart Object
  • Right-click Smart Object layer and select Rasterize Layer

That’s it! No more dealing with multiple layers, having Photoshop rename your merged layer, etc.