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There are often times when an initial simple selection won't be sufficient to get you the kind of selection that you're after. So, I would like to show you some ways to modify selections. I'll start by explaining these icons up here that you get with any of the Selection tools. These icons allow you to create a new selection, add to a selection, subtract from the selection, or select only an intersecting part of multiple selections. Let's see how they work. I am going to start by selecting the Rectangular Marquee tool in the toolbar, and then I'll move into the image and I'm going to click-and-drag around this blue tile to select it.
Now if I were to try to add to that selection by selecting another area, the initial selection would disappear, and that's because by default this first option in the Options bar for all of the Selection tools is highlighted, and that is the Create New Selection icon. So that each time I come in with a Selection tool and click-and-drag, a new selection is created while the old selection is deleted. So, if I really want to add to this selection, then I would click this second icon, the Add to Selection icon. Now, I can come in with the Rectangular Marquee tool or any of marquee tools, and add to the selection, right next to the existing selection or I could go to another area of the image and click-and- drag and add that area to the selection.
Now let's say that I want to delete something from the selection. I'll click on the Next icon in the Options bar, which is the Subtract from Selection, and then I can come in and click-and-drag over any part of the existing selection and it will disappear like that. And if I select the intersection icon right here and I draw a selection, then the only area that will be selected is the area that is included in both of these selections, which is just that small area right there. To deselect, I'm going to press Ctrl+D on my keyboard.
Now I want to show you a couple of commands up here in the Select menu, the Grow and Similar commands. I'm going to start by selecting an area with the Rectangular Marquee tool, which is part of this blue tile right here. Now let's say that I want more of that blue tile to be selected. I can come up to the Select menu and I can choose Grow and that expands my selection to include all of the adjacent pixels of a similar color and tone. So, that's a quick way to select that whole tile.
Now let's say I wanted to expand this selection to include all the blue tiles, even those that aren't adjacent to this selection. In other words that are separated from it by other colors. I could go up to the select menu and this time I'll choose Similar and now I have selected all of the image that contains pixels within a range of a similar color and tone. Now let's say that I like this selection, but I don't want to spend time reselecting it. I can save this selection and then I can bring it back later, even after I've saved and closed the image and reopened it again.
To save this selection, I'll go up to the Select menu at the top of the screen and I'll choose Save Selection. In the Save Selection dialog box, I'll type a name for this selection in the name field. I call it Blue Tiles. I'll make sure that the operation is to make a new selection, although there are some other choices here that you might want to explore on your own, and then I'll click OK. Now, I'm going to deselect by pressing Ctrl+D. If I want to get that selection back at anytime, I can go up to the Select menu and choose Load Selection and then from the Selection menu, I'll choose the name of the selection, Blue Tiles, and there may be more than one selection saved, in which case there would be more than one name here.
Then I'll click OK and that brings back my selection like magic. So, when you are making more complex selections on photographs, check out these Selection Modification Features that let you add to selections, subtract from selections, grow your selections and save and reload your selections later.
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