Converting a mask to a selection

To retrieve your selection later, choose Select ^ Load Selection. A dialog box nearly identical to the one shown in Figure 9-27 appears except for the addition of an Invert check box. Select the document and channel that contain the mask you want to use. You can add it to a current selection, subtract it, or intersect it. Select the Invert option if you want to reverse the selected and deselected portions of the mask.

Want to avoid the Load Selection command? Ctrl-click the channel name in the Channels palette that contains the mask you want to use. For example, if I Ctrl-clicked the Existing Mask item in Figure 9-27, Photoshop would load the equivalent selection outline into the image window.

Tip But wait, there's more:

* You can press Ctrl+Alt plus the channel number to convert the channel to a selection. For example, Ctrl+Alt+4 would convert the Existing Mask channel shown in Figure 9-27.

* You can also select the channel and click the far-left mask selection icon at the bottom of the Channels palette. But for my money, this takes too much effort.

* To add a mask to the current selection outline, Ctrl+Shift-click the channel name in the Channels palette.

* Ctrl+Alt-click a channel name to subtract the mask from the selection.

* And Ctrl+Shift+Alt-click to find the intersection.

You can convert color channels to selections, as well as mask channels. For example, if you want to select the black pixels in a piece of scanned line art in grayscale mode, Ctrl-click the first item in the Channels palette. This selects the white pixels; press Ctrl+Shift+I (or choose Select ^ Inverse) to reverse the selection to the black pixels.

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