I usually draw buttons using shape (filled layer and shape clipping mask) and couple of layer effects. I'd like to apply Hue adjustment to it to customize button color. The problem is when I select "Create clipping mask" on adjustment layer (so it affects only single layer) it doesn't apply to layer effects (gradient overlay etc.). It just changes layer's background color that is not actually visible. Here's part of layers panel:

enter image description here

So how to make button color customizable? I'm using CS5.

  • Interesting question. I'd like to know this as well. When not clipped, adjustment layers will apply to effects, but when they are clipped they won't. The workaround I use if I need to preserve the edit-ability of the layer is to convert it to a Smart Object and then clip the adjustment layer with it.
    – Vickash
    Nov 7, 2011 at 19:10
  • My workaround is a bit simpler - just put those two layers into separate group and change group's blend mode to normal
    – Poma
    Nov 7, 2011 at 19:11
  • That's a good one. Much easier than editing smart objects.
    – Vickash
    Nov 7, 2011 at 19:14

3 Answers 3


In this case If you use Color overlay with the color you want and add Blend mode: color You will be able to achieve the same thing that you are trying to do with clipping mask.

Link to image. enter image description here

Also, in some cases other Blend modes may give good results as well.

Also... you can do the same thing reversed ( without color overlay ) by just giving your Gradient Overlay a Blend mode. Luminosity works well if you give black and white gradient and colorful shape color. Other Blend modes might perform nicely in some cases with that as well..

When it comes to heavier editing you might want do use Layer mask.

  1. Make selection of the layer but clicking to its thumbnail while pressing Ctrl
  2. Add adjustment layer

Second one is the bottom part of the image which is essentially the same, but you don't have to make million separate Layer masks

Link to image. enter image description here


Here is a nice trick, works with cs5.

Put your clipped layer and the adjustment layer(s) in one group.

All adjustment layers should be at top, clipped layers with effects at bottom, all in the group.

Click the group on layers pane, and on top of the pane, select normal instead of Pass through.

That's it!


Not a very elegant solution. But if you convert the shape layer into a smart object, then the adjustment layer will work on the layer effects just as if you'd expanded/flattened the effects.

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