Is there another way to add text to an existing animation other than manually duplicating the text layer in the layer palette and merging each one with the existing animation layers?
If you have the original layerd file thar animated GIF was created with update it an generate a new animated GIF. If you do not have that file edit the Animatef GIF file. The Document that opens in Photoshop may not be exactly like the layered document the animated GIF was created from. Add the text layers you want and update the frames in the animation pannel so that the text apears when you want it to. Generate a new GIF don't overlay the old one
Yes, I have the original file I created with layers, 8 layers that animate. I want to add piece of text to each layer. How do I add the text through the animation panel, rather than duplicate the text later in the layer pallete and merge each layer down? For example, in another graphics program, I could select propagate paste and just drag the text over the layers in the animation palette. Is there a way to do that in Photoshop?
Frames in the animation contain a composite of the layers you set visible for that frame in the animation panel. You can include the text layers in all frames if you want to. The Animation Palette also has a Fly_Out menu with some option. I do no do that many animated Gifs so I'm not the knowledgeable when it comes to the Fly-out menu. I use Tween and also make frames from layers.
I'm not sure I am explaining myself correctly because I don't understand the replies. I'm used to just dragging that first frame, which is the text, across the entire animation palette and the text automatically goes on top of each one. Is that not possible? I'm not familiar with Smart Objects, or how that relates to my questions.
You are throwing together different things. Frame-based animation has never worked as you described. As already mentioned, each frame in the aniamtion palette represents the visibility states of the normal layers palette and in order for your text to appear on all frames you just need to make it visible. Of course you can multi-select animation frames to make things easier, but you cannot stack frames on top of each other such as you want to do - all operations that affect layer blending still have to be done in the layers palette.
You're under the assumption that photoshop does its animations via the animation panel. In reality all animations are layer based. So clear your animation frames and reapply the layers. With the text being on the top layer, it will be visible on top of the remain layers so, it will be visible in all frames. In other words when you add a layer that effects other layers, photoshop does not automatically update the remaining frames which is why you have to do it.
Also it makes it easier if you mention what version of photoshop your using and the OS. As the animation panel has gone through a face lift and does not require frame based animations any more and are more in sync with how after effect and flash operate using keyframes.
As I wrote the animation Palette has a fly-out menu in the upper right hand cornor. In there I found an option that I checked. "New Layers Visible in All Frames". I then added a new text layer and the text was in all frames when I played the animation. in fact in this animation all layer are visible in all 150 frames. However the position of layer 1 is different in each frame. I only dd the First and last position of the layer Photoshop's Animation Fly-out option Tweengenerated the middle 148 positions for me.
I did not generate a new Gif here is the old one if I had generated a new gif the text would have been visible through out the anamation Cloud Logo