Combining selection tools

As you already know, the magic wand tool makes selections based on color. If an object you want to select is set against a differently colored background, it can be much easier to select the object and the background and then use the magic wand tool to subtract the background color, leaving the desired object selected.

You'll see how this works by using the rectangular marquee tool and the magic wand tool to select the water lily.

1 Select the rectangular marquee tool ( „) hidden under the elliptical marquee tool ( . ).

2 Drag a selection around the water lily. Make sure your selection includes a margin of white background between the tips of the petals and the sides of the marquee.

At this point, the water lily and the white background area are selected. You'll subtract the white area from the selection, resulting in only the water lily in the selection.

3 Select the magic wand tool; then in the tool options bar, set the Tolerance to 32.

Note: If you left the Tolerance at 70, the magic wand tool would remove some of the light pink and light gray outer petals of the water lily, because those shades would be close enough to the selection color (white) to be included in the range of pixels it removes.

4 Hold down Alt (Windows) or Option (Mac OS). A minus sign appears with the magic wand pointer.

5 Click anywhere in the selected white area surrounding the water lily. Now all the white pixels are deselected, leaving the water lily perfectly selected.

6 Hold down Ctrl (Windows) or Command (Mac OS) and drag the water lily to the lower right side of the book.

7 Choose Select > Deselect, and then save your work.

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