Selecting layers is something we do all the time in Photoshop. If you have lots of layers and layer groups, it can be difficult to find the correct layer in the Layers panel, especially if you didn’t name them (or even if you did name them). Here’s the fastest way I know to select layers (and it’s the way I use all the time): Choose the Move tool (V), and up in the Options Bar, make sure Auto-Select is off. Set the drop-down to the right of Auto-Select to Layer (not Group). All you need to do now is hold down the Command (PC: Ctrl) key and click on a layer on the canvas to make it active. When you hold down Command (PC: Ctrl) and move your cursor around the document, you’ll see pink smart guides appear around the various layers, which will help you target the correct layer before you click.
Note: The reason I turn off Auto-Select is simple: If I want to drag the selected layer, I don’t want to accidentally select a different layer each time I click.
This tip originally published in Colin Smith’s “Photoshop Tips” column in the August, 2020 issue of Photoshop User magazine.