The 40 Photo Masks of PSE—Are You Using Them?

with 46 Comments

Did you know you have gold mine of photo masks waiting for you in your Custom Shape Picker? In fact, the current version of Photoshop Elements comes packed with FORTY of them! And, guess what? They are not even ugly! They are beautiful.

(Scroll down to download PNG versions of my top seven PSE photo masks.)

Today I’ll share with you seven of my favorite PSE photo masks along with a few tips to help you get thinking outside the box. Here we go. . . .

Don’t take the shape at face value. It can be rotated, stretched, sliced up, or even combined with other shapes. Your imagination is your only limit. The masks below are Crop Shape 1 and Crop Shape 25. Psst—Don’t get hung up on the name. A Crop Shape is the same thing as a photo mask.

sample of several masks

Photo masks are traditionally used for photos. Once you have the shape in place, simply place your photo above it and clip it down. This works best with a photo that is not already cropped in close. This is Crop Shape 36 with my hunk and me at Epcot.

sample of using a mask with a photo

Consider using Crop Shapes with papers from your stash. These make lovely anchoring backgrounds for placing behind your photos. This is Crop Shape 21 with a paper from Krystal Hartley’s Mother Is a Verb kit. I duplicated the original shape, rotated it, and then moved it beside the original one to make an extra long mask.

sample of using a mask with paper

TIP: Remember that photo masks like these require that no layer style be added. They fall into the Things Requiring No Shadow category. Not sure about shadows? Check out my Design Disaster post.

Here are a few more from Elements’ fabulous photo mask collection. These are Crop Shape 12, Crop Shape 20, and Crop Shape 26.
other masks from PSE
So next time you go looking for a photo mask in your stash, try pulling out one of the 40 provided for you in Photoshop Elements.

 

Photoshop Users
Because these awesome photo masks are not in your Custom Shape Picker, I have made my top seven favorites into PNG files for you. Enjoy! Download Crop Shape PNGs.

 

46 Responses

  1. abbynormal
    | Reply

    That was a wonderful tut!!! I have recently learned to use masks and I LOVE THEM!! Have a few that I have d/l as freebies and have worn them out. I had NO IDEA these were at my disposal!! This PSE–so many hidden treasures!!!

  2. Barbara Schladitz
    | Reply

    Jen, you are always a breath of fresh air. I love your enthusiasm and your talent for digging deep to find new ways to use the PSE tools. Thanks!

  3. Stephanie
    | Reply

    Where are these masks in version 15? I am a beginner at this all so I’m not familiar with where everything is on there.

    • Jen White
      | Reply

      Hi Stephanie.

      The Custom Shape Picker can be found in the Tool Options of the Custom Shape tool.

      Sounds like you could use a little help learning Photoshop Elements. Check out our class Learn Photoshop Elements. It’s guaranteed to get you up and running FAST.

  4. Jan
    | Reply

    When downloading crop shapes online, look for .csh files. Then load them into PSE.

  5. Jeanne
    | Reply

    I just added Aphrodite slim stylistic and ending yesterday for four$13.60 each. they are on sale for a couple more weeks if I remember correctly.

  6. Barb M.
    | Reply

    Great article, Jen! Thanks for all the tips!

  7. Annette
    | Reply

    Thanks Jen, I love the Crop Shape Masks. I can see I will be using those frequently.

  8. Shaunna
    | Reply

    Thanks for the great masks. I have PSE11 and am just learning

  9. Lucie
    | Reply

    Thanks Jen for the photoshop masks. Digital scrapper does their best to make everyone happy!

  10. Grandyathome
    | Reply

    I followed your directions in the Custom Shape Tool, but I do not have those mask types. Would I need to reload the PSE 11?
    Seems I am missing some of the Graphics too, at least access to them.
    Thanks,
    Judi

    • Jen White
      | Reply

      Judi, When you open the Custom Shape Picker, click on the drop down menu and choose All Elements Shapes. You should then see the Crop Shapes further down the list. 😀

      • Sandi Dunbar
        | Reply

        Thank you, Jen. I was having the same problem. I didn’t even notice the down arrow beside “default.”

  11. KFM
    | Reply

    Thank you Jen for the Crop Shapes. Since I have been attempting to learn PSCS6 I forgot about the things available in PSE.

  12. Priscilla
    | Reply

    So nice to find these, thanks to you! Coincidentally, earlier today I was browsing the Graphics selections (PSE10>Window>Content>Graphics and came across a number of masks there too, under Frames (in Graphics)!

    Suddenly I’ve got lots of Masks to use! Thanks again!

  13. Mary Turner
    | Reply

    Thanks Jen, for including something for us Photoshop users. We would have felt like step-children!
    Mary

    • Jen White
      | Reply

      Haha. Awe, Mary. Even if you were a step-child, we’d make sure you were fully loved! 😀 xoxo

  14. Mary Turner
    | Reply

    Thanks Jen for including something for us Photoshop users!
    Mary

  15. Cindy B.
    | Reply

    I had no idea all that was available in my Photoshop Elements 10. Thanks for telling us about it.

  16. Margie
    | Reply

    Thanks so much for this great tip!

  17. Mary
    | Reply

    Great job Jen. :O)

  18. teri
    | Reply

    I don’t have version 11 – still using version 9 so was bummed thinking I was going to miss out on these. Just checked and version 9 has them also. I loved the idea of using papers with them for background elements. Thanks for the tips!

  19. Lisa
    | Reply

    Thanks so much for the masks for PS users! Who would have figured that PSE 11 has some features and goodies over PS?! I’m still searching tutorials to find manual ways to get the same effects as the Guided Edits. So now I want PSE 11 as well. lol

    Could you share what the font is for “Photo Masks” in the header? So pretty. I would guess it’s a paid one, but doesn’t hurt to ask. 🙂

    • Linda Sattgast
      | Reply

      It’s Aphrodite Slim Text, and yes, it’s a paid font, but it’s quite affordable—somewhere in the range of $17 to $19, I believe.

  20. Julie (MaggieMae)
    | Reply

    Oh, wow! I had no idea there were there!!! Thanks so much!

  21. Cindy
    | Reply

    Thank you! I had no idea I had these goodies right at my fingertips already. Great ideas for using them.

  22. Jeanne
    | Reply

    I’m so new at this, I never thought about using a photo mask with paper, what a concept 🙂 Love your tuts, Jen, I always learn something new or to look at something in a new way AND you always make me laugh!

  23. Windi
    | Reply

    I better upgrade quickly!! Thank you!!

    • Jen White
      | Reply

      Windi, I know Adobe is having a $30 off sale on PSE11 right now. So you might want to check that out. 😀

  24. 2x2collection
    | Reply

    Love these blogs. Just when I think I’m comfortable with PSE and have a pretty good handle on what I’m doing, you remind me I’ve touched the tip of the iceberg. Really enjoying all these new discoveries. Thanks for keeping us learning!

  25. Shirl/Grambie
    | Reply

    Thank you for the reminder. With so many things going on within PSE 11, I often forget about the additional goodies within this program. I particularly love to use these mask for papers. I will definitely use a mask within a layout for this month. 🙂

  26. pattya
    | Reply

    Thank-you, Jen–these will be so fun to use!

  27. Barbara
    | Reply

    Thank you!

  28. cheryl
    | Reply

    Thank You for the photoshop masks!

  29. RuthAnn
    | Reply

    Thanks Jen. These will be useful. I don’t have PSE11. Maybe I should check it out. Use PS mostly.

  30. Sharron
    | Reply

    Thanks for reminding me. I forget they’re there.

  31. Barbara Albrecht
    | Reply

    Thanks for the heads up about the great “masks” available in PSE 11! I really need to check them all out. I don’t use the custom shapes much…not sure why. But…I’ll be using these…thanks for the tip!!!

  32. Thejage
    | Reply

    Thanks so much, Jen, for I had no idea that PSE11 had so many –

  33. Doris
    | Reply

    Great tutorial Jen! Thanks.

  34. Bev
    | Reply

    That’s a great lesson for us, and not just for scrapbooking: make use of what we have before going out and buying more! Like the email I recently got showing how to cut a spade with a handle out of a plastic milk carton! Thanks Jen!

  35. Doris
    | Reply

    Great tut Jen!

  36. Terri
    | Reply

    Thanks Jen!! I love learning all these great new ideas. What a great resource you are.

  37. Margot
    | Reply

    Hi Jen,

    This is the first I knew of the Custom Shape Picker. Where do I find this tool?

    • Jen White
      | Reply

      Hi Margot. First get the Custom Shape tool. It is nested with the Rectangle tool. Then in the Tool Options, you will see the Custom Shape Picker. 😀 Hope that helps!

  38. tropicalhelen
    | Reply

    Thanks Jen. Seems we should explore our software a bit more

  39. Margret
    | Reply

    Thank you Jen.

    I will use this mask for my many times fore my scraps.

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