Photoshop: Why are the "masked-parts" of layers if masked by layer masks drag-selectable?

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  • Updated 4 years ago
  • (Edited)
Hi Photoshop Team,

Here’s a question,

When a user is using Photoshop in the "click-an-element-to-select" mode, otherwise known as "auto-select: layer" mode, he or she often uses the Move Tool to select multiple elements by dragging a “selection rectangle”. This behavior is known as drag-select.

The selection rectangle that appears when drag-selecting will select all elements within it's boundaries.

However, I've always found it quite odd that Photoshop finds it useful to allow the drag-selection of layer-contents that are masked-away by a layer mask.

If a part of a layer is masked away, doesn’t that masked-away-layer-part (at that point) announce it’s invisibility, thus rendering itself un-selectable?

This definitely seems to be the case in other software like Illustrator, InDesign, etc...

There’s no setting to toggle the “selection-of-masked-layer-contents-by-drag-selecting”, which adds to my confusion about this issue.

Could you help clarify why Photoshop chooses to behave in this manner?

I've attached an image that aims to clarify my question and show a possible solution.

Thank you in advance!
Photo of A A


  • 6 Posts
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Posted 5 years ago

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Photo of Julian Burford

Julian Burford

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This has been bothering me for ages! Would be great to see this option being implemented.
Photo of Margot Gabel

Margot Gabel

  • 12 Posts
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I am in the same situation, it is so annoying. Please do something about it!
Photo of ahainen


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YES. This. I need this.