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Put a checkmark next to the option Smart Highlighting under Tool Options to have Photoshop automatically snap to edges with a lot of contrast when drawing your outline. Or leave that box unchecked and just hold down the CMD key (Mac) or CTRL key (Windows) to temporarily use Smart Highlighting when drawing an outline.

3. Use the Eraser tool to fix any stray part of the outline you drew, but make sure the entire outline is complete. In other words, check to make sure there aren't any holes in your outline before proceeding to the next step, in which you fill the outline. To temporarily use the Eraser while drawing the outline with the Edge Highlighter tool, hold down the ALT (Windows) or OPTION (Mac) key.

4. Use the Fill tool (shaped like a paint bucket) to fill the outline and mark the area you want to retain and extract from the rest of the image, as I did in Figure 5-12.

5. Click Preview to see how the image will look when it's extracted to Photoshop.

In most cases, you'll want to adjust or edit the object before you actually extract it to Photoshop. You can do so—as I did to clean up the edges around my daughter's hair in Figure 5-13—with the Cleanup and Edge Touchup tools.

• Use the Cleanup tool to remove traces of the background around the object you're extracting.

I find this tool to be especially useful for cleaning up edges, because it also softens the edges it cleans up. When working with the Cleanup tool, you can also hold down the ALT (Windows) or OPTION (Mac) key to temporarily add pixels from the background instead of remove them. (Press numbers 0 through 9 on your keyboard to adjust the pressure of your brush.)

• Use the Edge Touchup tool to smooth rough edges of the selection without softening them. When working with the Edge Touchup tool, hold down the CTRL (Windows) or CMD (Mac) key and drag from within the edge's borders outward to move the edge itself. (Press numbers 0 through 9 on your keyboard to adjust the pressure of your brush.)

Figure 5-12 I used the Edge Highlighter tool to draw an outline around the object to be extracted, and then filled in the area I wanted to keep.

Figure 5-12 I used the Edge Highlighter tool to draw an outline around the object to be extracted, and then filled in the area I wanted to keep.

To return to viewing the original image, choose "Original" in the Show menu under Preview. Or you can choose one of the following backgrounds from the Display menu against which you can temporarily display the extracted object:

• None Displays the extracted image against the gray checkerboard used to symbolize transparency in Photoshop

• Black Matte Displays the extracted image against solid black background

• Gray Matte Displays the extracted image against a solid 50 percent gray background

• White Matte Displays the extracted image against a solid white background

• Other Displays the extracted image against the color of your choice

• Mask Displays the extracted image as solid white against a black background

QUICK TIP

Press CTRL-+ (Windows) or CMD-+ (Mac) to zoom in and get a closer view of the edges of your object. Then press CTRL-- (Windows) or CMD--(Mac) to zoom out.

Figure 5-13 I used the Cleanup and Edge Touchup tools to smooth and soften the edges around my daughter's hair.

Figure 5-13 I used the Cleanup and Edge Touchup tools to smooth and soften the edges around my daughter's hair.

You can continue to clean up the edges as necessary, or you can even go back and redraw the edges, refill the center, and then re-extract the image. When you're satisfied with the object, click OK to formally extract the image to Photoshop, where the background pixels are erased and left transparent. You can then place the object against the background of your choice.

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