Creating an Image Mask in iWork

"Just because you can, doesn't mean you should". This is a phrase I found myself repeating over and over years ago when the animated GIF concept became commonplace years ago. It was very appropriate because while the idea of a moving image was cool (at the time), it had it's place (many people abused it).

Today, I want to show you how to apply a mask to an image in iWork, creating some pretty cool effects. As with the animated GIF, this certainly has it's place, and probably shouldn't be used everywhere, but it's still a very handy tool, and can have a pretty stunning effect in a document (when used the right way).

Here is an example of what this could look like:

This is nothing more than an image, with an image mask applied to it.

The first thing we need to do is create a new (or open an existing) iWork file (Pages, Keynote or Numbers). Next, we will Select the "Shape" button from the manu bar at the top. This will allow us to insert a new shape.

Choose the shape you want to use, then drag it to your document.

At this point, you can move and resize your shape until you're happy with it's size and location. Next, we find the image we want to use in place of the default shape background, then drag & drop it onto of the shape. When you let go, you will see that part of the image (the part outside of the shape) will be faint.

When you click "Done", this part of the image will disappear. Before clicking "Done", feel free to resize and move the image so that it's exactly how you want to see it when you click "Done".

If you want to adjust the size and location of the image within the mask after you have clicked "Done", simply double-click on the shape to edit.

Below is a video, walking you through this process:

Posted on March 7, 2014 and filed under Design, How To, Mac.