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Choose the Right Tool for Every Job in Photoshop CS2

Article Description

Photoshop has a number of selection tools. Some appear in the toolbox, but others are hidden in the Photoshop interface. Helen Bradley examines the tools, how they work, and how you might use them. Familiarizing yourself with these tools and understanding how to use them will allow you to make the best choice of tool for the job and get your work done much faster.

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Shaped Selections with the Marquee Tools

There are two marquee tools: the Rectangular Marquee and the Elliptical Marquee. With one selected, you can click and drag on the image to create a rectangle or ellipse. To create a square, hold down the Shift key as you operate the Rectangular Marquee; to create a circle, hold down the Shift key as you operate the Elliptical Marquee.

By using the Style options on the option bar, you can create a selection of a fixed size or a fixed aspect ratio. A fixed aspect ratio selection is useful, for example, if you want to print a photo at a particular size. To make a print of 4×6 inches, make a selection of the area to print by setting the aspect ratio to 4×6. The Fixed Size option requires that you set the width and height of the selection in either pixels—such as 100 px—or inches, such as 4 in.

The Elliptical Marquee can also be used to create a vignette effect, as shown in Figure 2. Make a selection around the portion of the image you want to highlight; then add a large feather value using Select > Feather. Choose Select > Inverse to invert the selection, select an appropriate background color, and press Delete.

Figure 2

Figure 2 This vignette effect is simple to create using the Elliptical Marquee.

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