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Photoshop Tool Pallet
Image #1

Creating Selections in
Photoshop

Selections let you work on specific areas of an image. There's no limit to the uses of a selection in Photoshop. From lightening or changing the color of a specific area to removing components to be used in other images or duplicating them within the same image. The creative possibilities are endless.

The best way to work in Photoshop is with a graphics tablet like the Wacom. It's like drawing with a pen instead of a block of soap. I always keep my left hand on the keyboard while drawing to keep the shortcuts available.

There are a few ways to create selections
Scroll down to see an illustration

The Rectangle or Elliptical Marquee tools are your basic fixed shape selection tools. Hover the mouse over the Rectangle tool to see the other tool options.
You can use the Magic Wand tool and play with the sensitivity to start a selection and finish by using the lasso as described below.
Holding down the Shift key lets you add to a selection as you continue clicking within the desired area with the Magic Wand tool.


Image #2


Image #3

Using the lasso tool
Draw your selected area as close as you can but don't worry if you're not exactly on your desired line. Image #2
Holding down the Shift key lets you add to a selection.
Holding down the Alt key lets you subtract from a selection.
Add to or subtract from your selection by drawing a series of small ovals around the outside of the area coming in close to what you want to select (Image #3). By using the Shift or Alt keys you can either make your selection narrower to come in closer to the desired line, or wider if you came in too close. Work your way around the image at a higher than normal magnification. Like in my above examples where a gray object has been photographed on a white background. The selection was originally created by using the Magic Wand on the background. While working at 600% I drew small ovals holding down the SHIFT key to add to the selection.
At various times you should save the selection. Selection>Save Selection and name it. After saving the selection you should save the actual PSD file you're working on. Then if you loose the selection, you can always open the file up and load the selection Selection>Load Selection and continue where you last saved it.
Selections can be moved incrementally, one pixel at a time, using the arrow keys.
If you get the error message telling you Warning no pixels were selected or Warning no pixels are more than 50% selected try setting the feathering to a lower number setting.
The Quick Mask tool can be used to add to or subtract from a selection.
When in the Quick Mask mode, the color swatches on the tool bar become White and Black. The White showing as Red as you draw to add to a selection. The Black showing as Clear (the original image) as you subtract from the selection.
You need to be using a drawing tool, like the paint brush for the Quick Mask tool to work.
As you move in and out of the Quick Mask mode, the image will go from a painted selection to a lassoed (with the marching ants) selection.
If you're using Photoshop 6, you should download and install the 6.01 patch for Windows or for Mac
If you're having trouble with your tools, it's recommended to delete your preferences file to return all the tools to their default settings.
Your preferences can be found in (on my Win ME machine):
C>Windows>Application Data>Adobe Photoshop 6.0>
Adobe Photoshop 6 Settings>Adobe Photoshop 6 Prefs.PSP

Windows
Close Photoshop and navigate through Windows Explorer to your preferences folder. If you're nervous MOVE the preferences file to the desktop. Restart Photoshop and the default preferences will automatically be regenerated. Depending on your operating system, the preferences might be in a different but similar location. You can also do a search for the prefs.psp file.
Mac
I don't know where your preferences are located.

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