Installing Layer Styles

What are Layer Styles?

Layer styles are used to add interesting effects to elements on your digital page.

Adobe Photoshop Elements, one of the most popular programs for digital scrapbooking and photo editing,  comes with several sets of layer styles, but you can purchase them as well –  they are easy to install.

Usually a set of styles includes several variations of a particular style in one file. File names for Adobe styles always end in .ASL. When you install the .ASL file. all of these different styles are ready for you to use with the click of a mouse.

How to Install Layer Styles

In Photoshop Elements 11 and newer, it’s a simple process to install styles.

Download and unzip the style set.

  • Begin in Expert Mode
  • Click on the Styles icon at the bottom of the screen. If you don’t see it, click on the Effects icon and then the Styles panel to activate it.
  • Click the tiny hamburger menu (looks like little lines) at the top right of the Styles panel.
  • Click Load Styles
  • Navigate to the .ASL file and click load. 

The styles will now appear in the Styles dropdown menu, along with the default styles provided by Adobe. 

Click the hamburger menu again to choose the size of the thumbnail icons that represent each style and/or to show the names of each of those styles.




How to Use a Layer Style

To apply a Layer style:

  • Select the layer you want to add the style to.
  • Double click on the thumbnail of the style you want to apply.

To change to a different layer style:

  • Select the layer.
  • Double click on the thumbnail of the new style you want to apply.

To remove a layer style:

  • Select the layer.
  • Right click on the layer in the layer panel.
  • Click Clear Layer Style.

Installing Multiple Styles

Although adding too many styles (or brushes or textures) to PSE is never a good idea because it can make the application slugglish, it is possible to add multiple  files at once by adding them to the “Presets” folder for the version of PSE you are working in. As a general rule, I store all of my .asl files in a folder on my hard drive and then make copies to load into “Presets” so that I always have the orginal as a backup.

Be sure to close PSE before beginning.


Navigate to

C:\Users\[your user name]\AppData\Roaming\Adobe\Photoshop Elements\{version number}\Presets\Styles

and paste the .ASL files into that folder

If you can’t find the AppData folder, that means it’s hidden. Instructions for “unhiding” folders are here.


Navigate to

Macintosh HD>Users>[your user name]>Library>Application Support>Adobe>Adobe Photoshop Elements {version number}>Presets>Styles

and paste the .ASL files into that folder

If you can’t find the Library folder, that means it’s hidden. Instructions for “unhiding” folders are here.

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  1. Cynthia

    This is great information. I like the step by step instruction and being able to print off a copy to refer to if needed.

    Thank you,

    • Vicki Robinson

      You’re very welcome! I’m so glad you liked this tutorial!


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