PHOTOSHOP - Layer selection improvements with layers clipped by groups and mouse right clic

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  • Updated 3 years ago
  • (Edited)
I usually have dozens and dozens of layers in my psd files and I use extensively the Alt + mouse right click shortcut to reach the layer I want to modify.

With the use of layer clipping masks on groups I face 2 limited behaviors(which are also inconsistencies in the way clipping masks works with layers by the way) and i think it would be nice to improve them:

Improvement 1: A clipped layer on a group should not “block” the picking of any layer below

Currently (CC 2015 and before) when there is a layer using a clipping mask on a group somewhere above the layer this layer “blocks” the picking and prevents the selection of the expected layer. This is the case even if this clipped layer is supposed to be clipped and whatever its type (standard, shape, solid...), as if its mask created by the picking wasn’t correctly taken into account.

Improvement 2: A visible clipped layer on a hidden group should also not “block” the picking of any layer below

When those layers using a clipping mask are visible but the group is hidden they continue to “block” the picking of layers below.
At the contrary hidden clipped layers on layers let the picking go through, which is far more intuitive and usable.
Besides is the layers themselves are hidden the picking works as expected.
This is a problem because when we need to hide a layer groups we do it on the group itself, we don’t want to have to do that for the group AND for all its clipped layers.

These behaviors are not consistent with the behavior of clipping masks on layers, and this is really annoying in practice when working with many layers because clipped layers on group are really helpful and we cannot use them extensively because of that.

To illustrate these points I did a Photoshop file with a setup on which you should be able to test various cases.
Please download it here:

Thank you
Photo of Werwack


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Posted 3 years ago

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