One of the most important tools within Photoshop is Layer Masks. They help to non-destructively refine your layers. They not only help you to create selections but allow you to refine layers and individual adjustments.
But when you add selections or duplicate layer masks, it’s not uncommon to see the opposite of what you want. That’s why learning how to invert a layer mask is so useful.
In this tutorial, I’m going to show you how to invert layer masks in photoshop to save tons of time. Instead of remaking the entire layer mask, you can use a few shortcuts and techniques to invert the mask you’re already using.
Let’s Go For It!
How To Invert A Layer Mask In Photoshop
First, we have to select a layer mask so make sure your layer mask is highlighted. A white box will appear around the layer mask, indicating that it’s selected.
Now any adjustments you make will affect the mask and not your image.
The fastest and most easy way to invert a layer mask in Photoshop is with the keyboard shortcut.
Press Control + I to invert the layer mask which you have selected.
Press Command + I to invert the layer mask which you have selected.
This will invert every color to the opposite color in your layer mask.
Now black becomes white and white becomes black, swapping which areas are transparent.
If you are not going to use the keyboard shortcut, you can also go up to Image > Adjustments > Invert to achieve the same result.
How To Add Inverted Layer Mask In Photoshop
When you create a new layer mask, you may want it to be completely black (aka transparent) to start.
In photoshop, when you make a new layer mask, it’s 100% white (visible), which means you need to invert the mask afterward.
There’s a better technique other than creating a new layer mask and using the invert shortcut above.
Select the layer you want to add your layer mask too.
Now hold Alt and click on the layer mask icon in the Layers panel to create a new mask.
Now hold Option and click on the layer mask icon in the Layers panel to create a new mask.
Instead of having a white mask, this will create a black, inverted mask from the get-go.
Using this easy technique saves you from the extra step of inverting your layer mask with a keyboard shortcut.
Now it’s inverted and ready to go the moment it’s created.
How To Duplicate And Invert Layer Mask In Photoshop At Once
Now, instead of just duplicating or inverting a layer mask, you can do it all at once.
Just hold Control + Shift and click and drag your layer mask to a new layer.
Just hold Option + Shift and click and drag your layer mask to a new layer.
As a result, this will simultaneously duplicate and invert your layer mask at the same time!
This trick is another huge time saver and prevents you from needing to create an entirely new layer mask.
Adobe just released this helpful 2-minute video that shares 10 handy shortcuts you can use in Photoshop when working with layers.
In these shortcuts we also have Inverting a Layer Mask:
They also say if you want to invert your layer mask, just hold Command + I on Mac or Control + I on Windows to quickly move between the two conditions i.e. Default Mask and Inverted Mask.
More About Masks:
Learn To Copy A Layer Mask In Photoshop With Shortcuts And Pictures.
As one of the most important tools within Photoshop is Layer Mask so learning how to invert a layer mask in Photoshop is an essential skill for any creative. It not only saves time but makes it so much easier to get the proper mask.
By remembering the shortcuts and tips you learned here, you’ll never have to worry about how to invert a layer mask again.
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