The Color Range command

In its own little group, right in the middle of the Select menu, is the incredibly powerful Color Range command. Check out those orange blooms from Figure 8-9. Rather than Shift-clicking with the Magic Wand, you can select the orange quickly and easily with the Color Range command. In Figure 8-11, I clicked and dragged through some orange areas in the image with the middle Eyedropper tool. (You can also click once with the left eyedropper and use the other eyedroppers to add and subtract colors from the selection.) The Fuzziness slider near the top determines how close a color must be to those through which you dragged to be included in the selection.

Color Range

Color Range

Figure 8-11: The Color Range feature selects by color.

Here are a couple of ways that you can get a better look at your selection as you create it. In Figure 8-12, you see the options (available from the Selection Preview menu). The Grayscale (upper left) and Black Matte (upper right) do a good job of showing that the background will be partially selected if you click OK. (Lower the Fuzziness or use the right-hand eyedropper to click in those areas of the fence that shouldn't be selected.) The White Matte (lower left) does an excellent job of showing that the tips of some leaves below the blooms will also be selected. (Ignore that and Option+drag/Alt+drag with the Lasso tool later to deselect that area.) Because of the color of this image's subject, the red Quick Mask preview (lower right) is almost worthless for this image (although it is often good with other images that don't have red and orange).

Figure 8-12: Color Range offers four ways to preview.

The pop-up menu at the top of the Color Range dialog box lets you pick among the RGB (red/green/blue) and CMY (cyan/magenta/yellow) colors, as well as the image's highlights, midtones, or shadows, and even any out-of-gamut colors in the image (colors that can't be reproduced within the selected color space). When you choose one of the presets from the top menu, the Fuzziness slider isn't available, limiting that feature's value.

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