I'm working on an artwork I did by hand for an invitation, cleaning it up in Photoshop...

When I finish editing, should I apply the layer mask on the layer I've been working on before closing it?

(I'm going to use it afterwards in illustrator...)

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    If you are worried about preserving the way it looks now, there's no reason to apply the mask. – Joonas Feb 19 '16 at 9:52

Unless you're having storage space issues, or it's not displaying properly in Illustrator, you should always try to leave your layer masks intact. Look at it from a "non destructive editing" perspective. When you apply the layer mask, you're destroying information you may not be able to get back, or may have to redo something you already did.

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You might want to keep a version with all your layers and masks for future editing/touch up... and one that you'll use for your print-ready or to import in other software.

So my recommendation is to keep a version with your mask.

You can always save another version with the mask applied to it if you need to place it in other software that don't recognize the layer masks or if you want to lower the file size of that file you'll place.

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