There are at least two good reasons to become more familiar with Photoshop’s key commands related to masking. First, while many of these functions can be accessed through menu items, not all of them can; these features are essentially hidden to users who don’t know the key commands. Second, key commands that make masking and selections easier and faster.

Here’s a list of the most important Photoshop key commands related to masking.

Option click displays a mask in black and white.

Shift click disables a mask.

Option Shift click displays a mask in red at 50% opacity.

Double click on a mask displays options for changing the color and opacity of mask.

Command click loads a mask as a selection.

Shift Command I click loads an inverted selection.

Shift Command click adds to an existing selection. (gradients add at 50% then 10% increments)

Drag and drop to move a mask from one layer to another.

Option drag and drop to copy a mask from one layer to another.

Delete fills a mask with the Background color.

Option Delete fills with the Foreground color.

Control click on a mask to bring up a contextual menu of options …

      Disable Layer Mask

      Delete Layer Mask

      Apply Layer Mask

      Add Layer Mask to Selection

      Subtract Layer Mask From Selection

      Intersect Layer Mask With Selection

      Layer Mask Options …

As masks are often painted, brush key command are useful too.

Numbers change brush opacity. (1=10%, 2=20%, 3=30%, etc)

X to reverses foreground and background colors.

[ makes a brush smaller.

] makes a brush larger.

Shift [ makes a brush softer.

Shift ] makes a brush harder.

Read more about masking here.

Learn more in my digital photography and digital printing workshops.

In this Photoshop Quick Tip I show when and how I feather selections for maximum control.

View more Quick Tips here.

Learn more in my digital photography and digital printing workshops.

Deke McClelland – Photoshop CS5 Refine Edge

Colin Smith – Photoshop CS5 Cutout and Refine Edge

Jan Kabili – Photoshop CS5 Improved Selecting & Masking

Terry White – Photoshop CS5 Edge Detection / Selecting Hair

Learn more about Photoshop and Lightroom in my DVDs and Workshops.

Masking Basics in CS5

Masking Magic

Learn more about Photoshop and Lightroom in my DVDs and Workshops.

Blend Modes

December 28, 2009 | Leave a Comment |

Uncover the hidden potential in all of your images with the art of selective adjustment.

Here’s a short excerpt from my DVD.

Learn more in my DVD Drawing With Light.

Learn more in my Fine Art Digital Printing workshops.


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