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Video:How to Use Photoshop Selection Tools

with Matthew Hendershot

A basic understanding of how to use Photoshop selection tools can be helpful when editing and cropping a photo. See these great tips for how to use Photoshop selection tools.See Transcript

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Transcript:How to Use Photoshop Selection Tools

Why Use Photoshop Selection Tools?

The ability to select and edit only a portion of a piece of artwork or image is a powerful function of Adobe Photoshop. In CS5, updates to the way selections are made and edited have given users even more control over this already crucial editing tool.

How to Use the Photoshop Selection Tools

The Selection tools are the first set of tools you will find at the top of the Tool Bar on the left side of the screen, the primary three being the Shape Selection Tools, the Lasso Tools and the Automatic Selection Tools. Clicking and holding on the tool icons will show you a pop up menu for selecting variations of each of the basic tools of each variety.

The Shape Selection Tool

The Shape Selection Tools create geometric shapes that selected all the artwork that lies in full or in part within the selection boundary. The rectangle and elliptical selection tools all created geometric shapes of their style by clicking and dragging with the mouse to stretch out the selection boundary to your desired shape and size. Holding the shift key while dragging will constrain either tool to perfect forms of either shape; a perfect square for the rectangle tool, or circle for the ellipse tool.

The Lasso Selection Tool

The Lasso Tools give you more control over creating selections. The original Lasso Tool lets you click and drag to draw a selection boundary of whatever shape you desire. The Polygon Lasso tool is used to place anchor points that are automatically connected to the previous point with a selection boundary. As you hover over the original starting point, this tool will change to the close selection tool, which when clicked will complete and activate the selection. Lastly the Magnetic Lasso tool will let you click and drag and lay selection anchor points automatically along high contrast lines.

The Automatic Selection Tool

Lastly, we have the Automatic Selection Tools, which allow you to make general selections quickly and easily. The Quick Selection tool lets you click and drag, automatically selecting the areas you drag across, as well as similar connected areas, while the magic wand tool lets you click anywhere in a similar section of artwork and select the entire area. Both of these tools have a editable Tolerance setting, which dictates how similar pixels have to be to be included in the selection. The lower the number, the more similar pixel has to be to be included, while a large number will select a very general range of pixels.

Tips for Using Photoshop Selection Tools

All of the selection tools allow you to use the modifier keys of shift to add to an existing selection, or Option to subtract from a selection. With these modifier keys and the variety of selection tools available, you should be able to combine their functionality to make precise selections with both speed and ease, adding a great deal of efficiency to your project.
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