Modifying Selections

The Select>Modify submenu gives you some other options for working with your selections. Border changes the selected area so that, instead of the whole object, you have selected only a border around it. You can set the width of the border in its dialog box. Smooth is helpful when you have made a lasso selection with a shaky hand. It smoothes out bumps in the Marquee line by as many pixels as you specify. Expand and Contract, as their names suggest, force your selection to grow or shrink as necessary by as many pixels as you designate in the dialog box.

The most frequently used command in the Modify submenu, however, is Feather, which lets you make selections with fuzzy, feathered edges rather than hard ones. It's very helpful when you want to select an object from one picture and paste it into another because it adds a slight blur that helps the object to blend in. You can use the Feather Selection dialog box, shown in Figure 3.9, to determine how many pixel widths of feathering to apply. Experiment with feathering selections to find out what works best.

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