Will you be listening for the clippity
clop of reindeer hooves on your roof this year? I know at least one
little boy who will desperately try to stay awake on Christmas Eve,
just listening for Dancer and Prancer!
Even if you can’t stay awake to
witness the visit from that Jolly Old Elf, you can still enjoy
clippity clipping in Photoshop and Photoshop Elements this season.
Try this clipping mask shortcut on your holiday projects and give
yourself a few extra seconds of holiday prep time!
When you are using a layered template,
a layered frame set, or a photo block, you’ll use clipping masks to
digitally “glue” your photos and papers to the placeholder. In
Photoshop Elements, this process is referred to as “grouping”,
while in Photoshop the term used is “clipping mask” but the
process is the same.
To use masks, stamped blocks, layered
templates or photo masks, begin by dragging a photo over the mask or
placeholder layer. Make sure that the photo layer is directly above
the mask layer. If it isn’t, use the Move tool to drag the
layer directly above the mask layer. The photo needs to be large
enough to completely cover the mask. Use the corner handles
to resize either the photo or the mat if necessary.
In Photoshop, hold the Shift key
as you are resizing to keep the image in proportion. In Photoshop
Elements, you’ll need to experiment with the Shift key since early
versions require the Shift and later versions do not.
With the photo in place, move your
cursor between the photo layer and the mask layer. Press the Alt
key (Mac: Opt key) on your keyboard. As you do this, your cursor
changes to a double-circle arrow. When this occurs, click once. The
photo will take the shape of the mask or layer beneath it.
Using the Move tool, you can
still move, resize or twist the photo at this point. When you are
satisfied with the position, press Ctrl E (Mac: Cmd E) to
merge the two layers together.
And finally, don’t forget, you can
use the same technique to apply patterned paper to the mask instead
of a photo.