Learn how to easily mask images. Turn shapes or text into frames that you can use as placeholders and fill with images. Easily replace an image by dropping another one into the frame — it automatically scales to fit.

Create a placeholder frame

You can create placeholder frames for images in any of the following ways:

  • Use the Frame Tool to draw empty rectangular or elliptical frames on the canvas.
  • Convert any existing shape or text to a frame.
  • With an existing image on the canvas, use the Frame Tool to draw over the desired area of the image.  

Create frames with the Frame Tool

  1. Select the Frame Tool from the Tools panel or press 'K'.
  2. In the Tool options bar, choose a rectangular frame or an elliptical frame .
  3. Draw a new frame on the canvas.

Convert any shape or text to a frame

  1. In the Layers panel, right-click (Win) / Control-click (Mac) a text layer or a shape layer and choose Convert To Frame from the context-menu.
  2. In the New Frame dialog, enter a Name and set a specific Width and Height for the frame.
  3. Click OK.

Draw a frame over an existing image on the canvas

  1. Select the Frame Tool from the Tools panel or press 'K'.
  2. In the Tool options bar, choose a rectangular frame or an elliptical frame.
  3. With an existing image on the canvas, draw a frame over the desired area of the image.
  4. When you draw the frame, the image is masked by the frame boundaries.
When you draw a frame on a pixel layer or drag a pixel layer into an empty frame in the Layers panel, the pixel layer is automatically converted to a Smart Object.  
Drag an Adobe Stock asset or a libraries asset from the Libraries panel into the frame.
Placing an image from Adobe Stock search results into frames.

Place an image into a frame

Content placed in frames is always placed as Smart Objects so that it can be scaled non-destructively. The content automatically scales to fit the frame. You can place content in a frame in any of the following ways:

  • Drag an Adobe Stock asset or a libraries asset from the Libraries panel into the frame. The asset is placed as Smart Object that is linked back to Creative Cloud Libraries by default. To get the original separated layer (not linked to Libraries), hold down Alt key (Win) / Option key (Mac) as you drag from the Libraries panel or use the Place Layers command in the Libraries panel.  
  • Drag an image from your local disk into the frame. The image is placed as Embedded Smart Object. To create a Linked Smart Object, hold down Alt key (Win) / Option key (Mac) as you drag-and-drop the image.
  • Select a frame. From the menu bar, select File > Place Linked or Place Embedded. In the dialog box that appears, select an image that you want to place in the selected frame. The image is placed as Linked or Embedded Smart Object.  
  • In the Layers panel, drag a pixel layer into an empty frame. The pixel layer is automatically converted to a Smart Object.  

Frame layer in the Layers panel

In the Layers panel, frames are represented by a Frame layer type. The frame layer displays two thumbnails - a frame thumbnail and a content thumbnail.

Frame layer in the Layers panel
Frame layer in the Layers panel

A. Frame thumbnail B. Content thumbnail; Smart Object linked to Libraries C. Frame layer 

Piezīme.

If you open a document with frame layers in Photoshop CC 2018 or earlier versions, the frame layer opens as a Smart Object with a vector mask over it.

Select a frame or its content

Frame and its content can either be selected together or separately allowing you to transform the frame and its content independently.  

Selection states of a frame and its content
Selection states of a frame and the inset image.

A. Both the frame and its image selected B. Only the image selected (shown with transform controls enabled)  C. Only the frame selected 

Select both the frame and its image

To select both the frame and its image, do any of the following:

  • On the Canvas, click the inset image once.
  • In the Layers panel, click the frame layer.

In this selection state, the frame and the image can be moved or transformed together.  

Select the image only

To select only the inset image and not the frame, do any of the following:

  • On the Canvas, double-click the image.
  • In the Layers panel, click the content thumbnail in the frame layer.

In the selection state, the inset image can be transformed independently. Double-clicking again in this selection state reverts to selecting both the frame and its image.

Select the frame only

To select the frame only, do any of the following:

  • In any of the selection states mentioned above, click once on the frame's border in the Canvas area.
  • In the Layers panel, click the frame thumbnail in the frame layer.

You can now transform the frame independently.     

Replace a frame's content

Dropping a new image in a frame replaces its existing inset image. Do any one of the following:

  • Drag an image from the Libraries panel into the frame in the Canvas area or over the frame layer in the Layers panel.
  • Drag an image from local disk into the frame in the Canvas area.
  • Select a frame or its image and use the options under Inset Image in the Properties panel: Find on Adobe Stock, Open Libraries, Place From Local Disk - Linked, or Place From Local Desk - Embedded.
  • Select a frame. From the menu bar, select File > Place Linked or Place Embedded. In the dialog box that appears, select an image that you want to place in the selected frame.

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