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Creating a clipping mask

You create a clipping mask when you use a layer to constrain how much of another layer is visible. Here, we show you how to use a plain box (like the one you create in Step 4g in the “Taking a Wire Frame to a Finished Design” section) to constrain a photo to just the banner area — without having to distort or resize the photo. All you need is a rectangle that will represent the area you want to have as your banner. See Figure 7-6 for an example of a clipping mask used to constrain a graphic to the banner.

Figure 7-6: You can use this method any time you want to constrain the effects of a layer to only the layer used as the mask (second layer).


To constrain a graphic to the banner with a clipping mask, follow these steps:

  1. Move the new image layer you created in Step 2 of “Placing a photo in your banner” so that it is directly above the banner area box.

  2. If your image layer is not selected, click to select it.

  3. Choose Layer⇨Create Clipping Mask.

  4. Move, resize, and edit the image layer as you normally would. However, the only portion of the layer that will be visible is the area that is precisely above the box layer.

    Remember to keep the background directly behind text or other important elements relatively clear of patterns. In other words, keep it simple behind the text; it's harder to read text that is over a busy background.


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