Selection Tools

You can use the selection tools to select certain areas of your document for editing. If you use a selection tool, only the area that's selected will be affected by any changes you make. You can "feather" selections (specify a fuzzy radius for them) using the Feather field in the options bar. The example at the top of the next page shows two rectangles: one created by filling in a selection with a feather of zero pixels, and one that's created by filling in the same selection with a feather of five pixels.

| ■ Jj ■ J Rectangular Marquee Tool M £1? O Elliptical Marquee Tool M =■-•= Single Row Marquee Tool jj Single Column Marquee Tool

Finding the "hidden" tools

NOTE Secret Selections

Selections can have varying levels of transparency, known as the degree of opacity. It's actually possible to make a selection with an opacity of 100% in one area, but only 20% in another area. If a selection contains any pixels for which the opacity is more than 50%, they will be displayed with a border of dotted lines. Photoshop won't visibly outline areas with less than 50% opacity (though they will still be selected).

Selection tools automatically select at 100% opacity. We'll learn about creating transparent selections using Quick Masks and alpha channels later in this chapter.

"Fuzzy" edges with feathered selections

JJ ■ [_] Rectangular Marquee Tool M C) Elliptical Marquee T-HJ M

=--^ Single Row Marquee Tool J Single Column Marquee Tool wrtrrr ? ''

"Fuzzy" edges with feathered selections

Marquee tools

Marquee tools (M) are used to create rectangular or elliptical selections, including selections that are "single row" (one pixel tall, stretching across the entire width of the document) and "single column" (one pixel wide, stretching through the entire height of the document). To make single-row or single-column selections, click with the appropriate tool on the image area where you want to select a row or column.

You can use the Lasso tools (L) to create freeform selections. The Lasso Tool comes in three different forms:

Lasso Tool (L)

Click and drag the Lasso Tool to draw a selection area. Releasing the mouse button Lasso.tools will close the selection by joining the start and end points with a straight line.

Polygonal Lasso Tool (L)

Click at different points to create vertices of a polygonal shape. Close the selection by moving your cursor to the beginning and clicking once, or pressing the Enter key.

NOTE No Selection Sometimes Equals All Selected

If you've made a selection, only the pixels within the selection are active and can be worked on. Some tools can be used without making a selection at all. However, be aware that if you have not made a specific selection, Photoshop will assume that you are working on the entire layer and any changes you make will affect all pixels in the layer.

Magnetic Lasso Tool (L)

If you think you need help with making your selection, try the Magnetic Lasso Tool. Photoshop will attempt to make a "smart" selection by following the edges of contrast and color difference. Click once near the "edge" of an object and follow around it—Photoshop will automatically lay down a path. You can also click as you follow the line to force points to be created on the path. Close the selection by pressing the Enter key or clicking at a point near the beginning of the selection. The Magnetic Lasso Tool is not available in ImageReady.

Using the Magic Wand to create a selection

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