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I havent used painter for like 5-6 years. i CAN merge my layers, but i have to group them then collapse them. i dont want to sound lazy, but im sure tehre is a faster way then this. i tried drop. when i do that it takes my 3rd layer and merges with my first layer, when i want it to merge to the second layer anyone help me out?
There's a quick way to flatten an image: File > Clone.
Know, however, that using File > Clone includes the Canvas.
If you have painting on the Canvas that you don't want included, highlight Canvas in the Layers section (palette) use Select > All (or Ctrl/Command+A), and click inside the selection to lift the Canvas to a Layer. Then close that Layer's Eye icon to make it invisible.
Let's say you have four Layers (besides the lifted Canvas Layer which is Layer 5)...
.. and you want to only include Layer 4 and Layer 2 in the flattened image.
Close the Eye icons for Layer 3 and Layer 1. Now you see only the blank Canvas, Layer 4, and Layer 2.
Use File > Clone and in the Clone, you'll see the blank Canvas and whatever was on Layer 4 and Layer 2.
If you want the Clone on your working image, use Select > All, Edit > Copy, then with the working image active, use Edit > Paste (or use Ctrl/Command+A, Ctrl/Command+C, and Ctrl/Command+V) .
This is much faster that it seems, reading it (and especially typing it!)
Hope it helps.