I always save a psd copy of a layout. I'm more likely to discard a jpg because I can always save a new jpg from my psd. I don't often use things from old layouts, but since computer hard drive space is no longer an issue on modern machines, there is no reason not to save the psds no matter how large the file is.
Janice, what I always have a problem with is layouts. My thought was that you could use your psd file as a template of sorts. Changing the background, pictures, doodads etc. you would get a completely different look. For me this would be a tremendous help.
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Helen - lately, since I've been having some difficulty creating, I have been opening old layouts and trying to change them into new layouts - just like you said.
I have been known to get my basics all set - the photos and the text - and then grab a layout and move layers from the old layout onto my already formulated new layout and work at making these new layers fit - sometimes it's a square peg, round hole attempt - but I turn layers off and on so I don't have so much to contend with all at once.
**For those unfamiliar with turning layers off and on - you turn layers off and on using the eyeball on the left edge of a layer in the layers panel. Just click on the eyeball and a layer turns off, another click and it turns back on. I even use that technique with templates I'm working with because templates are easier to work with if you don't have everything to think about at one time.
**To more easily move layers from an old template or layout onto a new layout, make sure both layouts are visible on your edit screen. Click on the old layout - go to the layers panel - highlight each layer you wish to move to the new layout (control/command click on each layer) -- then drag the layers from the layers panel onto the new layout - holding down the shift key as you drag to make sure the layers get centered on the new layout.