I have a mask over a layer:

enter image description here

I am trying to select and area and I press Cmd C:

enter image description here

When I pasted via Cmd V, I am seeing the layer pasted without the mask applied: enter image description here

As you can see, the mask associated with the layer was not copied.

Is there a way to copy both the layer and the mask within the selected area?

  • That is just how it works. The easibest solution would be to hold down Alt and drag the mask to the new layer. — Or.. You could select the mask by clicking the thumbnail, then make a new layer via copy Cmd+J + Invert selection Cmd+Shift+I + Backspace or Delete to remove contents past the selection. This way the new layer gets to keep the mask, but it doesn't cut off the excess automatically. I guess a third option and in some ways better than the last one is after making a new layer via copy, put it in a group and add a layer mask. Because then everything past the document is hidden.
    – Joonas
    Sep 30, 2021 at 6:43
  • Actually I changed my mind... Many ways to pet the cat, but now that I thought about what you are doing, it might make more sense to just start by putting the original photo layer in a group Cmd+G and then drag the layer mask on the group... so now every layer inside the group honors that one mask. So if you do Layer > New > New layer via cut (basically Cmd+C & Cmd+V), the mask won't be an issue because assuming you don't do any rearranging before or after, any copy of the original layer will sit inside the group that has the mask... And instead of cutting you might want to mask it...
    – Joonas
    Sep 30, 2021 at 6:51
  • Thanks @Joonas.
    – Tinker
    Oct 2, 2021 at 2:26

1 Answer 1


Command/Ctrl+Shift+c will copy visible.

This may be what you are after. It copies what you see regardless of actual construction.

If you want the mask linked to a layer, then you need to actually copy layers in the Layers Panel.

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