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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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Real World Adobe Photoshop CS2

Real World Adobe Photoshop CS2


Working with Selections

Once you've made your selection, you may want to feather it to soften its edges. This is particularly important when you're cutting an object from one image to place it in another, or you're changing the color of an object. Feathering the edge of the selection gives you a more seamless result—if you don't feather it, you'll have pixilated and obvious outlines. To feather a selection, choose Select > Feather and set a value—use a small value (1–3) for a low-resolution image and a larger value for a high-resolution image.

You can save a selection for use later on. Choose Select > Save Selection and save it as a new channel in the image by clicking New in the Channel list, typing a name for the selection, and choosing OK. To return to this selection, choose Select > Load Selection, choose the channel that you created, and click OK. The selection marquee will appear again.

If you make a selection and accidentally lose it, or you want to return to the last selection you made, choose Select > Reselect. To deselect a selection, press Ctrl+D (Command-D on the Mac) or choose Select > Deselect. To invert a selection so that what's selected will no longer be selected, and what wasn't selected will be selected, choose Select > Inverse. To move a selection in which the selection tool is still selected, click and drag the selection to a new place on the image.

To make a selection of all the objects on a layer in the image, Ctrl-click (Command-click on the Mac) the layer thumbnail.

If you need to hide the selection marquee—for example, when it's getting in the way of what you're doing and you can't see clearly—choose View > Extras or press Ctrl+H (Command-H on the Mac). The same option redisplays the marquee if it's hidden.

When making a selection with one tool, you can change tools and add or subtract from the selection. To add to a selection, choose your new tool (or use the same tool), hold down the Shift key, and make your selection to add to the original. To remove an area from a selection, hold down the Alt key (Option key on the Mac) as you make the selection to remove from the first—your second selection should overlap the first because you're subtracting from it.