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In GIMP, after adding a layer mask, and editing, is there a way (or even a plugin) to let you view the layer mask right on the canvas? I know that you can see a miniature copy of the layer mask in the Layer Dialog on the side (right next to the miniature copy of the layer), but I want to know if you can just view it?

(I suppose alternatively, I could do a greyscale layer and copy that layer onto the mask, but I was more interested in if there was an easy one-click method to make this happen.)

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Have you seen the manual? – Paolo Gibellini Mar 13 '14 at 8:15

In the image menu, just toggle the Layer->Mask->Show Layer Mask when the layer of interest is active. Or, just Alt+Click on the miniature of the mask, on the layer's dialog (again to turn its view off).

Some Window managers capture "Alt + Click" - (that is, the control is used to move the Window around, and GIMP itself never knows about the click). If that is your case, Ctrl + Alt + Click on the mask thumbnail instead.

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