To create an alpha channel and specify options:

1 Do one of the following:

• Alt-click (Windows) or Option-click (Mac OS) the New Channel button _j at the bottom of the palette.

• Choose New Channel from the Channels palette menu.

2 Type a name for the channel.

3 Select display options for the channel, as described in steps 2 through 4 of the procedure for changing Quick Mask options in "Creating temporary masks in Quick Mask mode (Photoshop)" on page 278. Alpha channel options are identical to Quick Mask options.

4 Click OK. A new channel appears at the bottom of the Channels palette and is the only channel visible in the image window.

5 Click the eye icon - next to a color channel or the composite color channel to display the image with a color overlay.

6 Use a painting or editing tool to paint in the image. Paint with black to add to the new channel, paint with white to remove from the new channel, or paint with a lower opacity or a color to add to the new channel with lower opacities.

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Photoshop Secrets

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