This is driving me crazy.
If I select a Path or Work Path from the Paths Panel,
then select a Layer from the Layers Panel,
then Command-click the Make New Mask button (at the bottom of the Layers Panel),
I get a new Vector Mask applied to my Layer....
But it's inverted. The shape of the Vector Mask is hiding that portion of the layer. In other words it's like my mask is a cookie cutter and just made a hole in my layer.
How do I create a new Vector Mask and hide everything else on that layer except the area of the mask?
Either set the option in the tool options bar to Add to Path Area before drawing the path or select the path with the Path Selection Tool after drawing (or after adding the vector mask from path) and set the option in the tool options bar to Add to Shape Area.
Yeah, I just realized that when I originally created the Path that I had done so with Subtract from Path Area selected.
Thanks, that was driving me crazy.
However, I'm interested in the second part of what you said. I was looking for a way to "invert" a Path like you're saying, but I wasn't able to make that work at first.
In case anyone else comes across this post, I finally got it to work by selecting the Path with the Path Selection Tool, then the options were available.
Why not use the first option?
Isn't that obvious? You've had the wrong button pushed by accident, you've spent time drawing a complete complex path, and now you really would like that path to be the OUTSIDE of a shape, and by gosh you really don't want to switch the options then draw it again.
John has listed the proper restorative answer. Select the path, then change the option button.
Keep in mind all this is changing in Photoshop CS6 with the advent of shape layers, which are kinda sorta the same under the covers. But different.
I just encountered the same problem in PS CS6. I too was looking for an option to 'invert the selection' but these answers prompted me to dig deeper!
I activated the Path with the Direct Selection Tool (White Arrow) then changed Path Operations (double square tool icon to right of Width/Height boxes) from 'Subtract Front Shape' to 'Combine Shapes' and that did the trick.