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Selecting and Using Hidden Tools in Adobe Photoshop CS5


  1. Selecting and using a hidden tool

Article Description

This excerpt from Adobe Photoshop CS5 Classroom in a Book shows you how to use the Tools panel, which arranges some of the tools in groups, with only one tool shown for each group.

Note: This excerpt does not include the lesson files. The lesson files are available with purchase of the book.

Photoshop has many tools you can use to edit image files, but you will probably work with only a few of them at a time. The Tools panel arranges some of the tools in groups, with only one tool shown for each group. The other tools in the group are hidden behind that tool.

A small triangle in the lower-right corner of a button is your clue that other tools are available but hidden under that tool.

  1. Position the pointer over the second tool from the top in the Tools panel until the tool tip appears. The tool tip identifies the Rectangular Marquee tool (marquee-tool.jpg) with the keyboard shortcut M. Select that tool.
  2. Select the Elliptical Marquee tool (marquee-tool-a.jpg), which is hidden behind the Rectangular Marquee tool, using one of the following methods:
    • Press and hold the mouse button over the Rectangular Marquee tool to open the pop-up list of hidden tools, and select the Elliptical Marquee tool.
    • Alt-click (Windows) or Option-click (Mac OS) the tool button in the Tools panel to cycle through the hidden marquee tools until the Elliptical Marquee tool is selected.
    • Press Shift+M, which switches between the Rectangular and Elliptical Marquee tools.
  3. Move the pointer over the image window, to the upper-left side of the head-light. When the Elliptical Marquee tool is selected, the pointer becomes cross-hairs (+).
  4. Drag the pointer down and to the right to draw an ellipse around the headlight, and then release the mouse button.

    An animated dashed line indicates that the area inside it is selected. When you select an area, it becomes the only editable area of the image. The area outside the selection is protected.

  5. Move the pointer inside your elliptical selection so that the pointer appears as an arrow with a small rectangle (small-rec-tool.jpg).
  6. Drag the selection so that it is accurately centered over the headlight.

    When you drag the selection, only the selection border moves, not pixels in the image. When you want to move the pixels in the image, you’ll need to use a different technique. You’ll learn more about making different kinds of selections and moving the selection contents in Lesson 3, “Working with Selections.”