A vector mask is a resolution independent path that clips out the contents of the layer. Vector masks are usually more accurate than those created with pixel-based tools. You create vector masks with the pen or shapes tools. For more information on working with the pen or shapes tools, see Drawing.

Add a vector mask that shows or hides the entire layer

  1. In the Layers panel, select the layer to which you want to add a vector mask.

  2. Do one of the following:
    • To create a vector mask that reveals the entire layer, choose Layer > Vector Mask > Reveal All.
    • To create a vector mask that hides the entire layer, choose Layer > Vector Mask > Hide All.

Add a vector mask that shows the contents of a shape

  1. In the Layers panel, select the layer to which you want to add a vector mask.

  2. Select a path, or use one of the shape or Pen tools to draw a work path.

    Note:

    To create a path with a Shape tool, click the Paths icon in the Shape tool options bar.

  3. Click the Vector Mask button in the Masks panel, or choose Layer > Vector Mask > Current Path.

Edit a vector mask

  1. In the Layers panel, select the layer containing the vector mask you want to edit.
  2. Click the Vector Mask button in the Properties panel or the thumbnail in the Paths panel. Then change the shape using the shape, pen, or Direct Selection tools. See Editing paths.

Change vector mask opacity or feather mask edges

  1. In the Layers panel, select the layer containing the vector mask.
  2. In the Properties panel, click the Vector Mask button.

  3. Drag the Density slider to adjust mask opacity, or the Feathering slider to feather mask edges. For more information, see Adjust mask opacity and edges.

Remove a vector mask

  1. In the Layers panel, select the layer containing the vector mask.
  2. In the Properties panel, click the Delete Mask button .

Disable or enable a vector mask

  • Do one of the following:
    • Select the layer containing the vector mask you want to disable or enable, and click the Disable/Enable Mask button  in the Properties panel.
    • Shift-click the vector mask thumbnail in the Layers panel.
    • Select the layer containing the vector mask you want to disable or enable, and choose Layer > Vector Mask > Disable or Layer > Vector Mask > Enable.

    A red X appears over the mask thumbnail in the Layers panel when the mask is disabled, and the layer’s content appears without masking effects.

Convert a vector mask to a layer mask

  • Select the layer containing the vector mask you want to convert, and choose Layer > Rasterize > Vector Mask.

    Note:

    After you rasterize a vector mask, you can’t change it back into a vector object.

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