i had a layer with text on it that was pretty transparent. if I cmd + click the layer i usually get a selection around the text, but somehow because of the transparency it selected very little of it, even though I can clearly see the letters very well.
then i tried adding a clipping mask above the transparent letter with a bit of color and the clipped layer would not eve show up. I had to unclip to see it.
is this normal behavior and why?
If the layer with the text and clipping mask has been rastersized and is not a text layer Ctrl|cmd+Click layer in layers palette loads the layers transparency as a selection and only pixels which have an opacity above 50% are outline with the marching ants. If you save the selection as a new alpha channel you can look in the channels palette to see the actuall selection. You can also use Photoshop tools and adjustment on that alpha channel like a curves or levels adjustment to turn the gray areas white then cmd+click to load the adjusted channel as a selection.
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