PS-31 - Keyboard shortcut to add Vector Mask directly to the layer

19 October, 2014

Masking is wonderful when it comes to photoshop. Being able to access the tools quickly is more important and also speed up your workflow. Here's a small tutorial on how to add Vector mask directly to the layer.

This is a small part from the Masking. There is so much to cover in Masking so I'll make separate tutorials or Essentials to cover everything about 'Masking in Photoshop'. This is not that tutorial.


01. If we click the mask icon at the bottom of the layers palette, by default the first mask that is added to the selected layer is Layer Mask.

Did you know you can also add the Mask from the layer's menu. Go to Layer > Layer Mask > Reveal All.

(fig 1.0)

02. Clicking the mask icon again will add a Vector Mask to the same layer. The Vector mask will be next to the Layer Mask.

Once you have added two masks, the mask icon will be disabled.

(fig 2.0)

03. You can also add a Vector Mask from the Properties panel.

And also you can add from the layer menu. Go to Layer > Vector Mask > Reveal all

(fig 2.1)

04. Keep in mind that the 'Mask Property' (or mask options) will visible in the properties panel only if you have any one of the mask in the layers palette. If you just select the layer and open the properties panel, it will be empty.

(fig 3.0)

05. If you want to apply Vector Mask without adding layer mask to the layer is to hold the 'Ctrl' on the keyboard and click the mask icon.
This will applies the Vector mask first. You can also go to Layer > Vector Mask > Reveal all.

(To see which mask you have applied, open the properties panel.)

06. Layer mask can be applied to both Normal layer and a Shape layer
Vector mask can only be applied to the Normal layer and not Shape layer

(When working with Shape layer, the layer elements act as a mask by changing the Path Operations from the Shape options tool bar)

Layer/Group Layer Mask Vector Mask
Normal Layer Yes Yes
Shape Layer Yes N/A
Smart Object Yes Yes
Group Yes Yes

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Inspirational Quotes - Blog Update (881-900)

18 October, 2014

Sale #16 - Halloween Collection - Pumpkins

14 October, 2014

5 Realistic Pumpkin Expressions with 6 different fully editable options from Halloween Collection. The Photoshop file includes all the files with clearly Organized layers. The help file will help you to understand the Layer structure.

There are 5 Photoshop files of the pumpkins (Outlines, Colored, with Shadow and Dark night). All the pumpkins are hand drawn to goes along with the other Halloween Collections.

Link: Halloween Collection: Pumpkins

Other Halloween Collections
Bats: Halloween Collection - Bats
Spiders: Halloween Collection - Spiders


Inspirational Quotes - Blog Update (860-880)

12 October, 2014

PS-30 - Fixing the Text Alignment position Quickly

04 October, 2014

How many times you created a text and realized that you need to change the alignment, to do so the whole position changes and you have to re-align it again. Well here's a quick tip to fix that.


01. When you create a text, by default it will be a Point type. The flow of the text is based on the alignment you set in the option bar. If you change the alignment after you created the text, you will see the alignment shifts.

When you are in the edit mode, you can see the dot in the baseline (fig 1.0 - 2) which is the starting position of the text. Notice the dot stays in the same place and only the text direction changes.

(fig 1.0)

02. Before you change to different alignment, Convert the text from Point to Paragraph by going to Type Menu > Convert to Paragraph Text or right-click on the text and select from the Contextual menu.

Notice the text placement from Point to Paragraph is exactly the same after we converted.

(fig 2.0)

03. Make sure your text is not in the edit mode when you use the contextual menu. Both Edit and the Normal mode will reveal the contextual menu, but the options are different.

Normal mode is where your text layer is selected in the layers palette and you right-click on the text to reveal the menu.

(fig 3.0)

04. Notice how little the alignment position changes in the Paragraph Text. Once you are done with the alignment, Convert it back to Point Text from the Type menu or from the Context menu.

The point text is not constrained with anything (fig 4.0 - 3) , so if you keep on typing without moving to the next line, the text goes out of the canvas. But with paragraph, everything stays inside the box.

To learn more about Point Text and Paragraph Text and other Text options, Go here >> Photoshop Essentials

(fig 4.0)

05. You can download this action file to make things faster. This action is created from this tutorial. You can create your own if you don't want to download this.
It's just my way of working. Basically it saves time going to the type menu converting and changing the alignment and converting again. Instead the action will takes care of everything.

// Photoshop Action >>

The action includes
  • Convert Point > Paragraph
  • Convert Paragraph > Point
  • Left alignment
  • Right alignment
  • Center alignment
'Convert Point > Paragraph' and 'Convert Paragraph > Point' are pretty straight forward. It does what it says

If you want to change the alignment after you created the Point text, then use one of these Left alignment or Right alignment or Center alignment. This will Convert Point text to Paragraph, change the alignment and Convert it back to point text.

(fig 5.0)

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