Using Layer Mask

Masking objects on a layer is a purely visual, non-destructive way to hide parts of the current layer’s content.

To Enable Layer Masking:

  1. Open (App) > Preferences… Editing in the main menu.
  2. Check “Enable Layer Mask Commands”. Mask commands will be made available in Layers > Mask in the main menu.

To Add a Shape to a Layer Mask:

To_Add_a_Shape_to_a_Layer_Mask.png
  1. Select a layer in the Layers panel that contains the objects you want to mask.
  2. Draw one or more shape objects on the layer to be used as the mask (image 1).
  3. With the masking object(s) selected, choose Layer > Mask > Add To Layer Mask.

4. The masked area is initially displayed with a semi-transparent checked-pattern, hiding the drawing objects underneath. The original masking object(s) is not automatically removed from the drawing (image 2) – move or delete the masking object(s) as desired.
5. When you are satisfied with the layout of the mask, choose Layer > Mask > Hide Layer Mask to visually remove the checkered mask area.

HINT: A Layer Mask is a visual effect applied only to the objects on a single layer. In this example (image 3), a Layer Mask is applied to the “background” layer of buildings, while the figure is on a separate drawing layer on top that is not masked.

To Clear a Mask from a Layer:

  1. Select the layer with the mask you want to remove in the Layers panel.
  2. Choose Layer > Mask > Clear Mask.

To Add Additional Shapes to the Layer Mask:

  1. Select the layer with the mask you want to add to in the Layers panel.
  2. Draw another shape to add to the existing mask area.
  3. With the masking object(s) selected, choose Layer > Mask > Add To Layer Mask.

To Subtract Areas From an Existing Layer Mask:

  1. Select the layer with the mask you want to subtract from in the Layers panel.
  2. Draw a shape(s) to subtract from the existing mask area (it should overlap the existing mask area).
  3. With the masking object(s) selected, choose Layer > Mask > Subtract from Layer Mask.

Note on Using Text and Paths in Layer Mask:

  • Convert text before adding to layer mask by selecting the text and choosing Graphic > Convert To Path or Graphic > Convert To Shape.
  • Outline paths before adding to layer mask by selecting the path(s)and choosing Edit > Path > Outline.

To Disable (or Enable) a Layer Mask:

  1. Select the layer with the mask you want to disable (or enable) in the Layers panel.
  2. Choose Layer > Mask > Disable (or Enable) Layer Mask.

To Hide (or Show) the Layer Mask’s Checkered Mask Area:

  1. Select the layer with the mask you want to hide (or show) in the Layers panel.
  2. Choose Layer > Mask > Hide (or Show) Layer Mask.