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Photoshop Elements 7 is packed with features to help amateur photographers with every stage of digital photo processing, from getting organized to sharing projects with family and friends. In Photoshop Elements 7 for Windows Essential Training, Jan Kabili shares workflow techniques for organizing, editing, creating projects, and sharing. She also demonstrates how to enhance photos with this budget-friendly software. Jan explains the latest updates to the Organizer and Editor workspaces, and also covers new features like the Smart Brush tool and Photoshop.com integration. Elements is very well known for its project features, and Jan shows how to create books, collages, panoramas, and more. Example files accompany the course.
There are a number of different tools for selecting an area in a photograph in the full edit workspace. They basically fall into two categories, tools that are manual selection tools and tools that are automatic. We'll start with the manual tools in this movie. I have two files open in the Project Bin. One is the file that you see here, which is circles.jpg, and the other is stairs1.jpg. You can find both of those in the 08_02_manual tools subfolder of the Chapter 07, Exercise Files folder.
I'm going to go over to the Toolbox and click on this tool, which is called the Elliptical Marquee tool. This is basically used for drawing circular and oval selections. Let me show you how to do it here in this image of the circular windows on a cruise ship. I'll come into the image and I'll try drawing a circle around this particular window, by clicking on one of the corners of the window and drag it and as you can see it starting to draw a circular selection. But to get that selection into the window, with my mouse still held down, I'm going to press the Spacebar and push that circle back towards the window.
When it's there, I'm going to release the Spacebar, my mouse is still held down and finally I'll release my mouse. That can be a bit tricky. So if you don't get it exactly right with any selection tool, still selected in the Toolbox, you can go inside of that selection and you can drag a little to move the selection around. So I have just pulled it a little bit to get it where I want it. Now that I have a selection, I can act on it. For example, I can go up to the Enhance menu at the top of the screen and choose out of Auto Smart Fix and let the Auto Smart Fix command change the brightness, contrast and color in just that selected area with none of the rest of the image impacted. When I'm done with the selection, I can eliminate the animated lines called marching ants that are the boundary of the selection by going to the select menu at top of the screen and choosing Deselect.
You should note the shortcut for deselect command, Ctrl+D because you will use it often. To show you another manual selection tool, I'm going to open the second image in my Project Bin by double -clicking it, stairs1.jpg. Here we have some squares and to select those, I'm going to go back to the Elliptical Marquee tool, click and hold and from the fly-out menu, I'm going to choose the Rectangular Marquee tool. With this tool, I can come in and draw a rectangle to cover any portion of this image. If I want to draw a square, I'm going to hold down the Shift key and I'll deselect that by pressing Ctrl+D.
If I want to draw a square selection, I'll hold the Shift key and then I'll click and drag and it makes a square and then I'll release my mouse and I'll release the Shift key. Although that doesn't exactly fit on top of this particular tile, I could click in that selection and move it over. May be it will fit on this tile; does a better job there, and I'll press Ctrl+D. Next to these two geometric selection tools, the Elliptical and Rectangular Marquees, there are series of Lasso tools. I'll click on the first of those, which is the Regular Lasso tool, and with that I can come in and try to manually draw a selection. But it's very difficult to get it right unless you have a steady hand and that's about the best I can do.
So that's why I don't usually use this particular tool. I'll press Ctrl+D to eliminate that selection, and there is what behind the Regular Lasso by clicking and holding, you can find there the Polygonal Lasso tool. I'll select that one and come over to this diamond shape. What this tool does is allow me to draw straight lines, so I can select diamonds or triangles or any kind of straight-line shape. I'll click once. I'm not pressing on my mouse. My finger is off the mouse and I'm simply moving the mouse to the next corner of the diamond or I'm going to click to make a point and then I'll go toward the next corner of the diamond and click and here is a little straight line. Click and then go to the next corner and click and back to the beginning.
When I get there, I see a tiny yellow circle to right of the Lasso icon, that tells me that I have reached the beginning of my selection and I'll click and that closes the selection and I'll Ctrl+D to deselect to that. I'm going to click back on my circle image, which is behind the stairs image, to bring that to foreground because I want to show you one more tool and that's the Magnetic Lasso. I'll click on the Polygonal Lasso in the Toolbox and from the fly-out menu I'm going to select Magnetic Lasso tool. This tool looks at the tones in the image to set anchor points around an object. Let me show you how it works. I'm going to try to select this circular area again, by clicking on one edge of it and then I'm just dragging the Magnetic Lasso thread around that circle, without pressing on my mouse and when I get back to the beginning, I'll click. Now we didn't do a perfect job, but it is very common to use more than one selection tool at a time.
So I'll give you a preview of one of the automatic selection tools, which is located here. I'm going to click on the tool that is showing here and I'm going to choose the Selection Brush tool, which is a great tool for drawing in little bits of selections when you try to select with another tool and you haven't exactly gotten it right. So with that Selection Brush tool, I'll come in, I'm going to make my brush tip smaller by pressing the left bracket key on my keyboard as I showed you, how to do earlier in this course. That makes the brush really small. Then I'm just going to come in and brush over this little area to round out that circular selection.
May be I can do the same over here on the top right of the circle. There we go. So that's how you use the manual selection tools, the Rectangular Marquee tool, the Elliptical Marquee tool, the Lasso, the Polygonal Lasso and the Magnetic Lasso to make selections.
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