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editing layer content

I'm just learning photoshop (version 7.0) -- when I try to delete, or cut and paste, or make a gradient, I get the error message "could not complete your request because the content of the layer is not directly editable". Any suggestions?
1 Solution
Doubleclick your background layer in the Layers Palette to make it editable. Also, make sure you are working in RGB mode via Image/Mode/RGB Color.

Hope this helps.
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