Skip to content

Newbie Notes: Lock Transparency

February 12, 2011

A little gem of a tip has made life easier for me while making a tag for my current kit in progress. I was using a Photoshop Pattern overlay for one of the layers. After positioning the pattern just where I wanted it on my tag, little stray bits were, very annoyingly, showing at the edges…

If you use the Clone Tool to remove the bits you don’t want, the new cloned pixels are likely to spread outside the rectangle of this layer.

Not what I wanted to happen.

Enter the Clone Tool PLUS my little gem.


At the top of the Layers palette you will find the word “Lock:” followed by a square box with the checkered transparency pattern. Click on this. You have now locked the transparent portion of the layer currently selected. You can now only effect or change the non-transparent part of this layer. If you try to paint on the transparent surround, nothing will happen. Very useful for working on the edge! So to fix the annoying stray bits on my tag, I first select the correct layer, then lock the transparency by clicking on the square box.  Now when I use the Clone Tool, it will only add pixels up to the edge of my rectangle, leaving a crisp edge to the finished manoeuvre. Brilliant! (The GIMP also has this feature.) Don’t forget to unlock the layer when you are done by clicking the box again. Otherwise you may forget and be trying to add something to your layer – totally mystified as to why your graphics program is suddenly “not working”.


2 Comments leave one →
  1. jayleigh permalink
    February 12, 2011 11:56 pm

    Hey! Splendid tip! That should work for cleaning up extractions, too! Thanks so much for sharing what you’ve learned.

    • February 15, 2011 9:08 pm

      Hi jayleigh. Delighted to hear that you find it useful!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s