Activate Layer and Activate Mask Keyboard Shortcuts February 7, 2017. Posted in: Tip Of The Day. To activate the mask on the currently selected layer press Ctrl \ (Mac: Command \). This is the same as clicking on the layer mask thumbnail. To activate the layer press Ctrl 2 (Mac: Command 2). This is the same as clicking on the layer thumbnail. « Previous Photoshop Tip: | Next Photoshop Tip: » Get The Tip of The Day in Your Inbox! Sign-up for the PTC Newsletter to receive a weekly re-cap of the Tips of The Day. That way you'll never miss a tip. You'll also get instant access to the Subscriber Only Tutorials! Enter your email below to sign up! Your Email Address: You Can Also Get Daily Tips On Your Feed! Every Photoshop Tip of The Day is posted in our Facebook & Google Plus, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest pages.