I've done a Google search and I can't seem to find whether this is possible or not.

Is it possible to move multiple folders' masks at the same time?

Say in the image below, all the folders' masks are exactly the same. Instead of de-linking each mask and then moving it a set amount in a particular direction 8 times, is it possible to do it once at the same time.

I know I can put them all in one folder with a single mask and do it that way, but I want to know if it's possible without doing it this way. What if they were different masks? I can't possibly put them all in one folder with a single mask.

Thanks in advance!!

enter image description here

2 Answers 2


This was supposed to be a comment, but to demonstrate these things, I needed more space:

Clipping mask is the only mask type that you can move like that. Of course clipping mask is not ideal in every situation.

Here's an example with:

  • Group that contains everyting
  • 3 Ellipse Clipping masks.
    • I put the first Ellipse layer in a Smart object and duplicated it to create the other two. This way I can edit all of those Clipping masks by editing the Smart object contents.
  • 3 kitten images within those Clipping masks.

Everything is inside a group, so the group can be moved and everything will move with it, including the Clipping masks.

enter image description here

I've linked all the kitten images together, so they can also be moved together.

enter image description here

I've also linked all the clipping masks together so they can be moved together as well.

enter image description here

Forgot to make an example of this, but you could also put each clipping mask and their content into a group or alternatively link them. And that would let you move the clipping mask and it's content easily.

The 3 gifs looked a bit restless with all of them playing at the same time, so I made it so that you gotta click the images to view the gifs. Which you should do, cause they are way more informative.

  • One thing to remember with Clipping mask is that these days you can put layer(s) into a clipping mask with a group, but not the other way around, which would actually be more useful in my opinion. One way to get around it, is to put bunch of layers into a Smart object and then put that in a clipping mask with a layer. Point is that it reduces the clutter you might otherwise have in the layers panel, since you can't even collapse layers in a clipping mask. When you have 100+ layers in a clipping mask, this becomes extremely useful :)
    – Joonas
    Aug 20, 2014 at 10:14

No. It's not possible to move more than one mask at a time. You could script the movement or perhaps record an action of the mask movement, then apply that action to each mask. But you can't drag more than one mask at a time.

But, as you've pointed out, if the masks are all identical...

Create a new group and move all the other groups inside it. Then simply apply 1 mask to the master group.

enter image description here

I don't understand the reluctancy to use this method.

  • Thanks Scott. Appreciate the effort in recreating the same panel layout with the folders and adjustment layers :) Yes I figured that was the only way of doing it. Well, it's not so much of a reluctancy, but if the masks were different, it's a whole new story. Cheers mate :)
    – Wes
    Aug 20, 2014 at 7:46

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