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Chapter Twelve. Layers > Clipping Masks

Clipping Masks

Q1:What is a clipping mask?

©POLLY REINCHELD

A1: A layer clipping mask is used to “clip” the pixels on one layer to allow only the pixels of the layer immediately below to show through. For example, if you placed a photo on a layer just above a Type layer and chose Layer>Create Clipping Mask (Command-Option-G (PC: Control-Alt-G)), the photo would only be visible within the type (the type would clip the photo).
Q2:Is there a quick way to create a layer clipping mask? I have been using the Layer menu command to make a clipping mask. Is there a faster way?
A2: Yes, press Command-Option-G (PC: Control-Alt-G), or hold down Option (PC: Alt) and position your cursor on the border between the layers you are using in the Layers palette. When your cursor changes to a double circle, click your mouse button and the clipping mask is created.
Q3:Why can't I get a layer clipping mask to work? I'm trying to use a layer clipping mask to make a photo appear inside of a Shape layer, but it doesn't seem to work. Any suggestions as to why it isn't working?
A3: Make sure that the photo layer is on top of the Shape layer in the Layers palette. (Don't worry if you can't see the Shape layer onscreen for now.) Then make sure the photo layer is active and from the Layer menu choose Create Clipping Mask. If you have the Shape layer active when you choose Layer>Create Clipping Mask, it will not work.


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