Back in the 2018 version of Photoshop CC, you could control/command + left click on a a group to select all visible pixels, but it appears that is no longer working anymore for 2021 (I skipped a few). Is there any way to re-enable this ability or is it gone for good?

For the record: This doesn't address the issue.

To reiterate, it used to be where you could control + click the group to select all pixels of the layers inside. Has this been changed to something I'm unaware of, or is it gone?

  • Hi. Welcome to GDSE I've still got CC2018, and AFAIK it doesn't work there either.
    – Billy Kerr
    May 23 at 19:29
  • @Scott Another way is to Ctrl+Shift+click each layer you want to add to a selection, doesn't work on groups though. Like you, I don't think it ever has.
    – Billy Kerr
    May 23 at 19:50
  • Select group, Duplicate Cmd+J, Merge Cmd+E, then select pixels just like you would normally and finally delete the duplicated/merged layer if needed.
    – Joonas
    May 24 at 10:10

I don't believe Command/Crl+Click has ever worked for Groups. I believe you are mis-remembering. It works for layers or smart objects, but never "groups".

There is a somewhat hidden shortcut though which can load the alpha as a selection. This may get around the fact that there's no direct "click" method.

With only the group visible, you can hold the Command/Ctrl and Option/Alt keys and hit the 4 key. This will load visibly transparent areas as a selection.

This shortcut is essentially a Channels Panel shortcut. So it "sees" what channels see. Just turn off visibility for everything except your Group. To do that merely hold the Option/Alt key down and click the Visibility icon next to the group in the Layers Panel.

So, to sum it up...

  • Hold Option/Alt and click the Visibility icon next to the Group in the Layers Panel

  • Hold Command/Ctrl+Option/Alt and hit 4

  • Hold Option/Alt and click the Visibility icon next to the Group in the Layers Panel again

    - Hides all other layers
    - Selects alpha based upon what is visible
    - Shows all layers again

You can also click the Selection icon at the bottom of the Channels Panel rather than using the Command/Ctrl-Option/Alt-4 shortcut. Or.. just hold Command/Ctrl and click the CMYK/RGB Channel thumbnail on the Channels Panel -- that will also load transparency as a selection.

White Pixels...

I should also point out that white can be problematic. Because this is a Channels shortcut, and on channels white is equivalent to transparency, all white will be seen as transparent and therefore not part of any selection. White will not be seen. If you have white pixels in the artwork, you may need to combine selection methods to get all visible pixels, including white, to be part of (or absent from) any selection.

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