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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 often times when a simple single selection won't be sufficient. Let me show you some ways to modify your selections to make them more complex. I'm using stairs2.jpg from the 08_04 modifying subfolder inside the Chapter 08 Exercise Files folder. I'm going to the Toolbox and I'm going to select the Rectangular Marquee tool and then come into the this image and draw a Rectangular selection around one of these blue tiles. Now let's say I want to include another tile in my selection. As soon as I start to click and drag around that tile, the first selection disappears.
That's because in the Options bar for the Rectangular Marquee tool, the new selection icon is chosen by default so that every time I start to draw again with the selection tool, the first selection is eliminated. To fix that, I can click on the second icon here in the Options bar, which will allow me to add to the initial selection. So I'll click there and now I can come in and drag around a second tile and the first selection stays put and I can get a third tile and as many as I want. And then I could fill these with another color or perhaps use one of the enhanced adjustments on just these selected areas.
Now let's say I decide I only want two of these tiles to be selected. I can subtract from the selection this way. By going to the Options bar again and choosing Subtract from selection and clicking on the Subtract from selection icon, and then coming back into my image and clicking and dragging over that area and that gets rid of that part of the selection only leaving the rest of it there. I'm going to press the Ctrl and D keys to deselect this selection and I'm going to come in again with the same Rectangular Marquee and select just part of this tile. Now let's say that I wished I had drawn a selection to cover the entire tile. A quick way to expand that selection to all of the blue on that tile is to go to the Select menu at the top of the screen and down to Grow. What Grow does is check the color and tone of the image and try to select all of the adjacent pixels of a similar color and tone.
Now let's say I wanted to expand that selection to all the blue tiles. I'll go back to Select menu and I'll go down to Similar. Similar is much like Grow except that it will select areas of similar color and tone throughout the image even if those areas are not adjacent to one another. So that's a very quick way to select all the blue areas in this image. It didn't do a perfect job this time, but it's close. Now let's say that I like this selection and I don't want to spend time reselecting it. I can save any selection and bring it back later, even after I save and close the image and reopen it again. To save this selection, I'm going to the Select menu at top of the screen and I'm going to choose Save Selection.
Here I'll give the selection a name. I'll call it Dark tiles and I'll press OK. Now I'm going to press Ctrl+D to deselect and if I changed my mind and I want that selection back at any time, I can go to the Select menu and down to Load Selection. I can press this arrow to check that I have my Dark tiles selection here because I can have multiple save selections in the same image and then I'll press OK, and that brings that my selection like magic.
So, when you're making more complex selections on photographs like this one, check out some of the modification tools. So when you are making a more complex selection, you can use some of the techniques I've shown you here, to add to selections, to subtract from selections, to grow your selections. When you are done making a complex selection, go ahead and save it so that you can bring it back later.
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