Transforming Selections

Transformations are different ways of reshaping objects within a picture, such as scaling, skewing, or rotating. You'll learn all about how to transform objects in Hour 10, "Using Transformations," but I want to take a minute here to let you in on a secret: You can transform selections too.

That's right—though even some Photoshop power users don't realize it, you can use a special set of Transform commands to reshape a selection marquee without affecting the pixels within the selection. Why would you want to do this? Well

Suppose you want to select a manhole cover in a street scene. You know the cover is round, but because it's parallel with the ground, it's not round in your picture. You could carefully trace around the cover with the Lasso tool, or you could use the Magic Wand to select it, but that's likely to be difficult because the cover's color is similar to the street's color. The quick and easy answer is to create a round selection using the Elliptical Marquee tool, and then choose Select>Transform Selection to reshape the circle into just the right oval.

When you're ready to give this a try, read about using the Free Transform command in Hour 10. Select Transformation works exactly the same way, only on the selection marquee itself rather than on the selected area.

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