How To Use Clipping Mask in Photoshop

I love the clipping mask tool on Photoshop. Is it weird to have a favorite editing tool? Because this is it. This post goes out to the creators, or wanna be creators, out there who have always wondered how to get an image to fit perfectly on a document, Christmas card, or even blogpost. I am here for you! You need to know how to use a clipping mask.

It’s simple, first open up photoshop and create your document as your normally would. This will be your Background layer which has a lock beside it. Next, use the toolbox on the left and select the Square/Shape tool. This will be the exact shape of your image. You can hold Shift while drawing the square to get a perfect box, or just click and drag to your desired shape. I recommend coloring your shape so you know what layer it is! You can do this by clicking the top color box (defaults to black or white) and choosing any color you want. It won’t affect the document!

Next, drag your image onto photoshop and drop it on your document. It might look something like this:

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On the Layer panel, drag your image layer ABOVE the shape layer like so:

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Right click the image layer and select Create Clipping Mask from the options provided:

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Nothing will appear to have happened to your image right away, but if you look at the Layer Panel, you will see a small arrow on the Image layer pointing down to the shape layer. This means you’ve successfully created a clipping mask! Now, still on the image layer, use the Move Tool to Shift and drag any corner of the image to expand (or shrink) the image until it fits how you would like it on your shape. You will notice the image no longer bleeds past the shape you’ve created:

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Position it where you would like and click Enter! There you go, friends. Easy peasy!

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