Selection masks give you an idea of what masks are all about, but they only scrape the surface. The rest of this chapter revolves around using masks to define complex selection outlines.
The most straightforward environment for creating a mask is the quick mask mode. In the quick mask mode, a selection is expressed as a rubylith overlay. All deselected areas appear coated with red, and selected areas appear without red coating, as shown in the top examples of Color Plate 9-1. You can then edit the mask as desired and exit quick mask mode to return to the standard selection outline. The quick mask mode is — as its name implies — expeditious and convenient, with none of the trappings or permanence of more conventional masks. It's kind of like a fast food restaurant — you use it when you aren't overly concerned about quality and you want to get in and out in a hurry.
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