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Limiting the effect of an adjustment layer

Normally, an adjustment layer affects all the layers below it, but you can clip (restrict) its effect to just the layer directly below it.

To restrict the effect of an adjustment layer to just the layer directly below it:star.jpg

  1. On the Layers panel, click an adjustment layer.
  2. On the Adjustments panel, click the Clip to Layer button. layers-btn.jpg (Click the button again to “unclip” the adjustment effect.) AC
    • Another way to limit the effect of an adjustment layer is by lowering the adjustment layer opacity.

By default, all new adjustment layers have a layer mask. To limit which area of the image an adjustment layer affects, edit its mask by creating and filling a selection or by applying brush strokes.

To edit an adjustment layer mask manually:

  1. Click an adjustment layer.
  2. Press D to choose the default colors (black as the Foreground color).
  3. Do either or both of the following:
    • Create a selection with any selection tool (e.g., the Rectangular Marquee or Lasso), choose Edit > Fill (Shift-Backspace/Shift-Delete), choose Use: Black, then click OK. Deselect.
    • Choose the Brush tool brush-tool.jpg (B or Shift-B). On the Options bar, choose a brush tip, Mode: Normal, and Opacity 100%, then paint on the image.
  4. Optional: To remove black areas from the mask, apply strokes with white chosen as the Foreground color.

    Note: To see illustrations of this technique, see pages 124–127 and 182–183. To edit the mask further via the Masks panel, see pages 152 and 154.

    • To remove all the black areas from the mask, deselect, click the adjustment layer, then apply Edit > Fill (choose Use: White).
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