Layer Mask Action for Photoshop Elements

Wish you could use those neat Photoshop processing tips that involve masking? Well, now you can. These actions allow you to create layer masks in Photoshop Elements.

One action will create a mask on whatever layer you select in the Layers window. This won't work on the Background layer.

The other action makes a duplicate of the currently-selected layer and then creates a mask on the new layer. This action *will* work on the Background layer.


  1. Download the appropriate ZIP file below.
  2. Unzip the file into a temporary folder on your hard disk.
  3. Follow the instructions in the Read Me file.
ZIP file for Elements 1-5

ZIP file for Elements 6

ZIP file for Elements 7 and later

What can you do with Layer Masks?

  • Selectively apply filters

    You can duplicate your image layer, apply one or more filters (such as artistic effects or sharpening) to it, and then use a layer mask to "erase" the effect from some parts of your image.

  • Remove color from some parts of your image

    Duplicate your image layer, remove color from it, and then use a mask to restore the color to some areas.

  • Blend exposures to "even out" high-contrast scenes

For an example of how to use a mask, check out our tip on Two-Exposure Contrast Masking for Photoshop Elements. The erasing methods described there are the same methods you can use for any type of masking.

For more instructions and screenshots, read our Layer Mask Instructions.