Professor Tips

Discover the Shortcuts of the Adjustments Layers Tool

By using the Adjustments Layers Tool in Capture One Pro 7 you can do image adjustments in up to 10 separate adjustments layers.

An adjustment in an adjustments layer will only be applied to the image, where an adjustments mask has been created. You create and adjust a mask for an adjustments layer by using the cursor tools named: Draw Mask, Erase Mask and Gradient Mask.

You can use simple shortcuts to change between the different mask cursor tools and to show the mask in a layer.

Tip714 Img2 fullThe image to the left is without any adjustments.  The image to the right has been optimized in Capture One Pro 7 primarily by using the Adjustment Layers Tool. Three adjustments layers have been used:

One layer to brighten up the cliffs to the left, a second layer to bring more contrast in the waterfall and to emphasize the sunbeam through the mist and a third layer to brighten the surface of the river.  Finally the overall white balance has also been tweaked.

Once you have selected one of the mask cursor tools you can use the keyboard shortcuts to switch between them:

(b) for Draw Mask
(e) for Erase Mask
(g) for Gradient Mask

Tip714 Img3 fullTo control how you want to see your masks, you can choose the options below in the dropdown menu for the mask cursor tools:

Always Display Mask (m)
Only Display Mask when Drawing
Never Display Mask (m)

Tip714 Img4 fullOnce you have selected an adjustment layer in the layer list you can change between “Always Display Mask” and “Never Display Mask by simply using the keyboard shortcut (m).

The shortcuts explained here are using plain letters, no Cmd or Ctrl combinations.

All the best,


The Image Quality Professor
The Image Quality Professor

The digital pioneer, Niels V. Knudsen, is Phase One’s Image Quality Professor and founder of the IQP blog. Moreover, he is responsible for breakthrough advancements in image quality both in Phase One’s medium format camera systems and in Capture One Pro.

Comments (10)

While I love the adjustment layer tool, it seems to be a major cause of instability since the new release. With my maxed out spring ’11 MacBook Pro it becomes unresponsive within 1-2min of painting a mask, often resulting in a full crash. Really hoping for a patch soon 🙂

Hi Jobe,

Sorry to hear that you are having problems with the tool. I have notified Support, and they will contact you asap.

All the best,

Jobe Hoy

Thanks man. Much appreciated!

My computer slows down too when applying adjustment layers. The mask no longer attempts to create a auto mask around an object. All of my final retouching ends up being done in Photoshop as the mask on CO7 isn’t as powerful as the selection tools in Nik Software. Other then that I find new ways to use the program. This tutorial would have been more useful if it had shown the three adjustment layers used to make the final image……maybe there somewhere else on the site.

Hi Don,

If you continue to have problems with this, we hope that you will contact Support in order to get the problem fixed:

Sorry for the inconvenience

All the best,



what I really need is a way to either
erase the mask in a layer instantly and completely via a shortcut or
copy and paste a layer to another image without the mask (just the adjustments). Only then can I apply an identical setting locally but to slightly different areas of not completely identical photos fast.

Any way to do that ?

Full of hope :-))


I’m using an Intuos 4. is there a keyboard shortcut to add an adjustment layer? perhaps i’m missing something. i sort like this over lightroom, but my peeve is the lack of shortcuts to quite a number of things.

David Grover

Hi Nico – there is no shortcut, but I agree it would be a smart thing to add.


David Degner

Still no shortcut to add an adjustment layer?

David Grover

Hi David,

This post is for Capture One 7, so now we are at Capture One 12 and there is indeed the option to add a shortcut for an Adjustment Layer.