In audio engineering, you use the solo function to listen to only one mixer channel, and mute to listen to everything expect the current channel. What is the corresponding terminology in graphics design?

For mute, hide is an appropriate term, but what is the corresponding term to solo.

  • Are you asking about software, "What is the term for bringing one layer or object to the front so it obscures everything else?" This question is probably better asked elsewhere (it can be migrated); but to determine that, more detail is needed.
    – Andrew Leach
    Jun 28, 2020 at 17:56
  • 1
    The function that does this in Inkscape is called “show/hide other layers”. I’m not sure that there’s a single word equivalent.
    – Laurel
    Jun 28, 2020 at 17:57
  • @AndrewLeach, sort of yes, but I am not asking about a layer that obscures everything else (that is a mask as mentioned by WeatherVane). Rather a solo function is usually used by an audio engineer to temporarly disable every other channel (as if they did not exist), to tweak settings for that particular channel.
    – user877329
    Jun 29, 2020 at 15:07
  • Ok, so can you describe what you mean in a graphic design context rather than an audio context? What action(s) would you do, that you need a single word for?
    – Andrew Leach
    Jun 29, 2020 at 15:11
  • @AndrewLeach Temporary hide all other layers, so only the "solo" layer becomes visible.
    – user877329
    Jun 29, 2020 at 19:39

1 Answer 1


I suggest mask. Lexico has


6 Photography
A piece of material such as card used to cover a part of an image that is not required when exposing a print.

The entry does say photography but one of its example usage sentences is

The Unsharp Mask is an old photography trick that has become available to ‘the common man’ through the introduction of digital editing tools.

Mask is also used as a verb.

  • Doesn't "mask" imply that it has the specific purpose of going in between? The "solo" button on the mixing console, is usually left up in the final mix (otherwise, you have recorded a lot of tracks you did not need).
    – user877329
    Jun 29, 2020 at 15:03
  • I posted this answer because 'mask' is a term used in digital imaging, not because it is an exact equivalent of the audio situation. Jun 29, 2020 at 15:30

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