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In this tutorial we shall learn the basics of clipping masks. Clipping masks are similar to the layer masks feature of Photoshop. These allow us to hide or show different pasts of a layer. However, clipping masks work differently.

Using Clipping Masks we need to put a mask on a layer and use a black fill to hide the areas on the mask White is used to show the area and grey works for the partial hiding of any area. Contents, as well as transparency of the layer, are used by clipping masks to see if any area is to be visible. You might be confused on hearing this, but the fact is that clipping is much easier and quicker to use as compared to the older layer masks. You have the option to make several clipping layers, but they all must be continuous. Clipping masks have several important uses. In this lesson, we are concentrating on the essentials only.

How To Create A Clipping Mask?

It is quite easy to make a clipping mask. The mask is on the base layer.

  • First of all, arrange the layers in the layers panel. (Generally Photoshop inserts fresh layers above the presently active layer, nonetheless holding Ctrl (Win) / Command (Mac) key while clicking the New Layer sign is a good trick to add the new layerunder the active layer.) The base layer having the mask should be below the layers you wish to mask.
  • If using Windows operating system, you can press Alt and for Mac Operating system you can press Option key along with the curser arrow placed on the line. It will allow you to separate current layer from the other layers.
  • Choose the first layer above the base layer in the Layers panel, and choose Layer and then create clipping mask option from the menu.

How To Remove The Clipping Mask?

Removing a clipping mask is very easy. Simply follow these steps and you are done.

  • Repeat the process mentioned above to discover the place of the mouse pointer on any layer.
  • In the Layers board, choose a layer in the clipping mask, and choose Layer and then select the Release Clipping Mask. This instruction removes the selected layer and any layers above it from the clipping mask.

How To Release All Layers In A Clipping Mask?

One and two and you are done.

  • You will find the base layer which is found in the layer panel. Just above this base layer, you will see the “Clipping Mask” option which is used for clipping a layer.
  • Simply select the layer which you want to be separated. And then select “Release Layer” to get the desired result.

Clipping Masks are easier than the older layer masks to be used. You can do much with this option; the above instructions are the simple basics to get started.

I hope that these tips and shortcuts will help you to understand better different features of Photoshop. It will make things simpler for you. These small tips help to improve the workflow and speed even if you are working in Photoshop as a beginner.


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