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Using Quick Mask Tool

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  • Using Quick Mask Tool

    Excuse me if this question was asked before. I am a relative
    newcomer to PhotoShop Elements 2 and I just recently accquired
    the Hidden Power of PSE2 book and downloaded the new tools!

    I searched this forum but could not find a suitable answer to my question!

    What is the purpose for using the Quick Mask Tool and how do I use it?

    Thank You,


  • #2
    Hi Vince:

    Welcome to RetouchPRO.

    Many of the functions available directly (or indirectly via Hidden Tools) in Elements has are also in Photoshop. I don't have Elements, but here's the Photoshop perspective.

    There are a couple different ways to create selections, that is, isloate portions of your image that you want to work on or apply an effect to. For example you may want to blur only the background of an image, so you would select it and then apply a blur filter.

    Tools used to make selections include Rectangular and Elliptical Marquee, Lasso, Polygon Lasso, Magic Wand, etc. These are "mouse controlled" tools -- click, drag, or click and drag in nature. Though functional, sometimes it's not easly to use these tools to make complex selections.

    Quick Mask allows you to create and modify a mask (which becomes a selection) using the paint brush tool... You can use options such as airbrush or special brushes as needed. You literally paint where you want to select.

    You didn't ask for it, but here's a site I ran across that has a goldmine of info on Elements: is your first and best source for all of the information you’re looking for. From general topics to more of what you would expect to find here, has it all. We hope you find what you are searching for!

    Hope this gets you moving.

    Again, welcome. Here's to a long and fun time learning all of the awesome things Elements can do.



    • #3
      Hi Danny,

      Thank You for the welcome and information on Quick Mask!
      I previously used Photosuite 3. This is my first venture into a
      graphics program with all the capabilities of Photoshop Elements.
      I am quite impressed with its capabilites even though it is a
      reduced version of the full blown Photoshop!

      I am always looking for ways to learn how to use the program better and faster. This forum has a lot of the information I am interested in.



      • #4
        Re: Using Quick Mask Tool

        Quick Tips:
        1. You can access the Quick Mask Tool with Q key
        2. You brush areas on your photo. To do so you have to select the Brush Tool
        3. You can invert your selection with Ctrl - i.
        4. After finishing the brushing press q again to see what you have selected

        For more info look at my website:


        • #5
          Re: Using Quick Mask Tool

          Tip for quick mask in Photoshop (unsure if this works in Elements):

          By default using quick mask, you paint the areas you do not want to select. Then you have to invert your selection (or mask). This is the opposite of what feels intuitive to me. I prefer to paint the areas that I do want to select (usually to apply an adjustment).

          To change this behavior, double-clik the quick-mask button in your tools palette. Change it to "Color indicates selected areas".
          Attached Files


          • #6
            Re: Using Quick Mask Tool

            Vince, the bottom line here is that for some, making a selection is intuitive using a Pen tool or Lasso tool. For others, they want to paint and have that kind of control and option (like seeing a feather, not entering a value). So here is where Quick Mask is useful. You can even start with another selection tool and modify using QM by panting, blurring with filters etc. Think of it like a selection layer if you will. You can toggle between a selection (the marching ants) to QM to modify and back as much as you like.


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