You can select all the nontransparent areas on a layer, or, if a layer mask exists, all the unmasked areas. Selecting these areas is useful when you want to select text or image content that is surrounded by or contains transparent areas, or to create a selection that excludes masked areas on a layer.

  1. Do one of the following:
    • To select only the nontransparent areas on an unmasked layer, Ctrl-click (Windows) or Command-click (Mac OS) the layer thumbnail in the Layers panel.
    • To select the unmasked areas on a layer that has a layer mask, Ctrl-click (Windows) or Command-click (Mac OS) the layer mask thumbnail in the Layers panel.
  2. If a selection already exists, you can do any of the following:
    • To add the pixels to an existing selection, press Ctrl+Shift (Windows) or Command+Shift (Mac OS), and click the layer thumbnail or layer mask thumbnail in the Layers panel.
    • To subtract the pixels from an existing selection, press Ctrl+Alt (Windows) or Command+Option (Mac OS), and click the layer thumbnail or layer mask thumbnail in the Layers panel.
    • To load the intersection of the pixels and an existing selection, press Ctrl+Alt+Shift (Windows) or Command+Option+Shift (Mac OS), and click the layer thumbnail or layer mask thumbnail in the Layers panel.

    Note:

    If you want to move all the contents of a layer, use the Move tool without loading a transparency mask.

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