Layer Mask

Using a mask, you can can hide portions of the layer and mask out the effect where desired.

The quickest way to create a mask layer is to press the button in the Layers panel.

Creating a Mask

To create a mask, select one of the items in the menu Layers -> Layer Mask:

All the menu commands that are available as menu entries by right-clicking on the Layers panel.

You can edit the mask using the painting tools. Select a mask in the Layers panel by clicking on its thumbnail. Paint with black to create an opaque mask, paint with white to create a transparent mask; other colors will create a semi-transparent mask.

By default, the mask is linked to the active layer. To cancel/reestablish the link between the layer and mask, click on / between the thumbnails or select the command Layers -> Layer Mask -> Unlink/Link. Unlinking them lets you shift the mask separately from the layer.

You can move the mask to another layer by dragging it with the mouse cursor. If you hold down the Shift+Alt keys on Win (+Options on Mac), the active mask will be copied to the selected layer.

To remove a mask, select its thumbnail and click the button or use the command Layers -> Layer Mask -> Delete.

To disable/enable a mask, select the layer containing the mask and choose Layers -> Layer Mask -> Disable/Enable. When the mask is disabled, a "X" appears across its thumbnail, and the layer’s content is shown without masking effects.

Mask is disabled

To add a mask to the selection, right-click on its thumbnail in the Layers or Channels panel and select one of the following commands:

To apply a mask to the layer, choose Layers -> Layer Mask -> Apply (only for raster layers). After the command is selected, the hidden layer parts become transparent.

 

You can adjust the mask view mode in the Channels panel. Click on the icon to the right of the Mask channel and select a view mode in the drop-down menu.

You can improve the mask's edges by using the Refine Edges feature in the Select menu.