Copy A Layer Mask To Another Layer

Using Adobe Photoshop

So, you’ve placed a texture in your document and spent a bit of time carefully making a layer mask. What if you want to place more textures either to try several at a time or just to play around and see which works best? Will you have to redo your layer mask each time?

Layer Mask

Nope. You can copy a Layer Mask to other layers.

Just click on the layer mask in the Layer Panel and Option (mac) or Alt (PC) drag it to the layer you want to copy it to.

Layer Masks copied

You can also replace layer masks with another layer mask. Again, Option (mac) or Alt (PC) drag the layer over the layer you want to replace and Photoshop will ask you if you want to if you want to replace the layer mask.

In Photoshop, you can also group your layers and apply the layer mask to the group instead of to each individual layer. In Elements, however, groups are harder to work with.


6 Responses to Copy A Layer Mask To Another Layer

  1. Lois Bryan January 19, 2011 at 4:38 am #

    how cool is this!!!!!! I had no idea!!!! Can’t wait to try it out!!!!!!!!
    Lois Bryan recently posted..Moonstruck by Lois Bryan

  2. Lois Bryan March 11, 2011 at 2:56 am #

    Finally tried this one out … LOVE it!!!! Thank you again, hon!!!
    Lois Bryan recently posted..Hard Times by Lois Bryan

  3. sil October 21, 2011 at 5:57 pm #

    This is great! Thanks for sharing!
    sil recently posted..Abstracts

  4. Dale Hardin February 27, 2012 at 7:02 pm #

    Thanks for the tip but it doesn’t appear to work in Elements. Bummer.

    • Leslie Nicole February 27, 2012 at 7:40 pm #

      Thanks for bringing this to my attention. You’re right, it doesn’t work in Elements 9. However, there is another thing you can do that works. Hold down Option or Alt and select your layer mask. This will let you view your mask. Then select all / copy. Then select the next layer mask and copy. A little more work, but it saves re-doing your mask!

      I’m not an expert in Elements, so it’s possible there is another work-around. I’ll keep my eyes open for it.


  1. Quick Tip: Group Your Texture Layers in Photoshop | Photo Artist Textures - September 24, 2010

    […] you are using several textures that all need the same layer masking, instead of copying the same texture to each layer, group them for greater […]

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