Saving and Loading Selections with Channels

After you spend a lot of time creating and refining a complex selection, it hurts to see it lost. You can always undo or use the history to retrace your steps up to a certain point, but what if you want to rese-lect something you were working on yesterday?

A sure way of keeping a record of your important selections is to save them as channels. Then, you'll always be able to go back and reselect by loading the selection from these extra channels of information that are stored with your image file.

The only downside to storing selections as channels is they increase file size because more bits have to be recorded. As long as the situation doesn't get out of hand because you are saving too many channels, your file will stay a reasonable size.

You will open a sample file and learn how to save and load selections with channels.

1. Open Cafe.psd from the companion CD.

2. Make a careful selection using any of the selection tools.

3. Choose Select > Save Selection to open the Save Selection dialog box (see Figure 1.16). Type MyFirstSelection in the Name text box and click OK.

Figure 1.16

The Save Selection dialog box

Your selection is saved as a channel.

TIP It is possible to save and load selections into and from other open documents using the Save Selection dialog box. This is a powerful way to exchange data between documents.

4. Press Ctrl+D to deselect your important selection made in step 2.

5. Click the Channels palette, and you'll see a new channel at the bottom of the list. Click the MyFirstSelection channel to view it in the document window.

6. The channel displays in grayscale. If you want to load the stored selection from this channel, click the Load Channel As Selection button along the lower edge of the palette.

7. Click the RGB composite channel, and you will see the marching ants, indicating that your saved selection has been reloaded from its channel.

8. Close the file without saving.

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