Photoshop Actions CS4 & CS5 Troubleshooting: Invert Not Available

Photoshop Actions CS4 & CS5 Troubleshooting: Invert Not Available

If you are using Photoshop CS4 or CS5 in 64 bit, and running Photoshop actions that you know worked well in a previous version, you may run still run into trouble.  There are many reasons actions can cause you problems and stress.  Here is a past article on how to fix your Photoshop action issues.

In addition to these reasons, there is a little known problem that often appears in CS4 and CS5, especially while in 64bit.  I get emails from people who say, “I upgraded to Photoshop CS5, and now my actions give me this error “invert is not available.” Then it does all kinds of horrible things to my photo if I continue.  For whatever reason, the adjustment panel is the root cause.  To fix this problem, open the adjustment panel by going under WINDOW – ADJUSTMENTS (if it is not already open).

In the top right corner there are tiny lines.  If you click on them, a drop down menu opens.  There are TWO things to look for.

  1. Make sure that “add mask by default” IS CHECKED. If not, click to add a check next to it.
  2. Make sure “clip to layer” IS UNCHECKED. If it has a check, click it to uncheck it.

Now re-run the troubled action.  If that does not work, make sure to read the other troubleshooting tips for Photoshop article.

adjustmeny panel in photoshop CS5

Jodi Friedman, MCP Actions

Jodi Friedman is the founder of MCP Actions. She designs popular Photoshop actions and Lightroom presets that make editing faster, easier and more fun.

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  1. 1

    Mandy says

    Jodi-Thank you SO much. It was as simple as un checking the “clip to layer.” Someone told me my PS was corrupt and I was devastated. THANK YOU!!!!!!! It’s fine now!

  2. 2

    Celine says

    Thank you thank you…you just saved me from going crazy. I love love the boost action from the Pioneer Woman and since upgrading to CS5 it didn’t work anymore. It worked on my PC and CS4 but not on my Mac and CS5… it was driving me crazy…. Just unchecking the “clip to layer” made my day.

    Love you blog and couldn’t live without your Touch of Light/Darkness action among other 😉

  3. 3

    Holly says

    Thanks so much, i was getting ready to uninstall my photoshop and lose all my actions. thanks a bunch.

  4. 4

    catchawake says

    I have PS Elements 10 and am receiving the “creat clipping mask unavailable” message. I can not find the “Add Mask by Default” option. Any ideas on where it is in Elements 10?

    • 7


      Okay I seemed to have figured it out. I was getting this error when I tried one action after another (i.e. I did Lemonade Stand and then tried Heartfelt) and it looks like it was just trying to apply the new action to an incompatible layer created by the first action. So here is what I did:

      Opened my unaltered photo and then ran an action.
      Before running the second action I made sure that the “Background” layer was highlighted in the “layers” panel (my layers panel is on the bottom right of the screen, and the background layer was the bottom layer).
      Once “background” is highlighted, click the next action you want to apply and it should go through.

      This seemed to work for me on PSE/9, hopefully it works on your end!

  5. 9

    Leigh says

    OMGosh!!! I was about to pull my hair out….. I had an action that worked in CS4 but not in CS5….drove me CRAZY!!! Thank you so much for this information, I wish I had found it sooner.

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