Changing the Quick Mask Color Overlay Options

When you create a complex selection by using the various selection tools, they are very rarely perfect or even near perfect. Panic not! There is a special mode dedicated to modifying selections (and can also be used for creating irregular selections). It's called Quick Mask mode and can be invoked by, one, clicking on the Quick Mask mode icon in the Toolbox (Figure 2-33) or, two, by pressing Q on your keyboard (the keyboard shortcut is a toggle). When you enter Quick Mask mode, a rubylith color overlay indicates masked areas and the clear areas indicate the selected areas.

NOTE If you have entered Quick Mask mode and do not see a rubylith overlay, it's because a selection was not active when you invoked the mode. Create a selection and then try again.

Masks created in Quick Mask mode must be saved from the Channels palette or by choosing Select ^ Save Selection after exiting Quick Mask mode.

When in Quick Mask mode, you can paint with black to contract the selection or white to expand it. However, should you need to, you can reverse the default options. To do so, doubleclick the Quick Mask icon in the Toolbox and then choose Selected Areas in the Quick Mask Options dialog box (Figure 2-34). You can also choose a custom overlay color if the default rubylith clashes with image content. Furthermore, just for good measure, you can specify an opacity level. Figure 2-35 shows an image viewed in Quick Mask mode.

Figure 2-33: Left—Default icons in the Toolbox for entering Quick Mask mode; the depressed icon signifies that color overlay indicates Masked Areas. Right—The depressed icon has changed to signify that color overlay indicates Selected Areas.
Figure 2-34: The Quick Mask Options dialog box, accessed by double-clicking the Quick Mask icon in the Toolbox.

TIP To reverse the options for seeing Masked Areas or Selected Areas without having to enter the Quick Mask Options dialog box, Alt-click (Windows), Opt-click (Mac OS) either one of the Quick Mask icons in the Toolbox.

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