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Refining a selection

From: Photoshop Elements 8 for Mac Essential Training

Video: Refining a selection

Some of these Selection tools have a special option for refining the edge of a selection boundary. One of these tools is the Quick Selection tool. I am going to get the Quick Selection tool in the toolbar and I'll make a quick selection of the land here by clicking and dragging with that tool. I'd like to fill the selected area with white by going up to the Edit menu and down to fill selection. I'll make sure that Blending mode is set to normal and I go to the use field and I'm going to choose white and then I'll click OK. Now I'm going to teach you a trick for hiding a selection without deleting it, just so that I can see pass these marching ants, I'm going to press the Command key and the H key on my keyboard.

Refining a selection

Some of these Selection tools have a special option for refining the edge of a selection boundary. One of these tools is the Quick Selection tool. I am going to get the Quick Selection tool in the toolbar and I'll make a quick selection of the land here by clicking and dragging with that tool. I'd like to fill the selected area with white by going up to the Edit menu and down to fill selection. I'll make sure that Blending mode is set to normal and I go to the use field and I'm going to choose white and then I'll click OK. Now I'm going to teach you a trick for hiding a selection without deleting it, just so that I can see pass these marching ants, I'm going to press the Command key and the H key on my keyboard.

I did that so that you can see that the edge of that selection is actually rather rough. If I wanted a smoother selection here, I could try to use the Refine Edge command. So I'm going to undo the fill by pressing Command+Z and then I'm going to bring back my hidden selection by pressing Command+H. Now I am going to refine the edge of that selection by going to the Options bar, for the Quick Selection tool and clicking Refine Edge. I find the same option by the way in the Magic Wand tool's Option bar, in the Lasso tool's Options bar, in the Polygonal Lasso tool's Options bar and up in the Select menu by choosing Refine Edge.

Any of those methods open the Refine Edge dialog box. The first thing to notice here is that there are several ways to preview the edge of the selection. The standard way shows the marching ants like this. But I'm going to click on this other icon, the Red icon, which displays the selection in the image not as marching ants, but rather as a mask, with this red overlay over the non-selected area of the sky and with the selected area without an overlay. I have done that because now I can see where the edge of my selection is impinging on the foreground elements here.

There are three sliders up here that I can use to refine this edge. I am going to take this smooth slider and drag it to 0 and the Feather slider and drag it to 0 and I'll leave Contract /Expand at its default of 0 as well, so that I can show you what these sliders do. If I have a little halo at the edge of a selection, as often occurs, I can try to use the Contract and Expand slider to get rid of that. If I drag the Contract/Expand slider to the left, notice that the selected area contracts. So I see more of the mask that represents the non-selected area at the edge of the mountains.

That isn't what I want in this case, but I just wanted to show it to you. I'll go back to the other way to show you what happens when I expand. Now I've expanded my selection of the mountains, so that is impinging on the sky. That isn't what I wanted either, I'm going to put Contract/Expand back to 0 in this case. I could try smoothing out the edge of the selection by dragging the Smooth slider to the right. That really doesn't do too much in this case, but notice when I move my mouse over the Smooth slider, down in the Description field, the bottom of Refine Edge, I get an explanation of what this control does.

It will help to remove any jaggedy edges along a selection edge. So if you do have jaggedy edges, try the Smooth slider. I am going to put that back and then I'm going to try the Feather slider. What Feather does, as described at the bottom of the dialog box, is to soften the selection edge with a blur. I usually don't add too much feather to a selection, but just a bit can blend the selection, making it softer and more realistic. I'll click OK and that takes me back to this view of the image with the marching ants.

Again I'm going to fill with White, Edit, Fill Selection, click OK and I'll hide my selection by pressing Command+H on the keyboard. As you can see, there's now much softer edge along the selection border and I could refine that selection even more by going back into Refine Edge and working with the sliders further.

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This video is part of

Image for Photoshop Elements 8 for Mac Essential Training
Photoshop Elements 8 for Mac Essential Training

81 video lessons · 7169 viewers

Jan Kabili
Author

 
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  1. 2m 35s
    1. Welcome
      1m 18s
    2. Using the exercise files
      1m 17s
  2. 13m 0s
    1. Touring Elements
      7m 24s
    2. Starting from the Welcome screen
      5m 36s
  3. 16m 11s
    1. Importing photos from a camera
      8m 48s
    2. Dividing scanned photos
      3m 52s
    3. Capturing frames from video
      3m 31s
  4. 23m 13s
    1. Touring Bridge CS4
      7m 44s
    2. Opening files from Bridge into Elements
      5m 1s
    3. Rotating photos
      1m 17s
    4. Moving, deleting, and hiding photos
      4m 11s
    5. Renaming photos
      5m 0s
  5. 29m 16s
    1. Tagging photos with keywords
      6m 28s
    2. Rating and labeling photos
      5m 55s
    3. Sorting photos by filter
      6m 23s
    4. Finding photos
      4m 33s
    5. Organizing photos in Collections
      5m 57s
  6. 52m 52s
    1. Touring the Quick Fix workspace in the Editor
      8m 34s
    2. Applying Quick Fix lighting controls
      3m 33s
    3. Applying Quick Fix color controls
      6m 30s
    4. Applying Quick Fix sharpening
      3m 44s
    5. Using Quick Fix touchup tools
      7m 43s
    6. Fixing group shots in Guided Edit
      6m 25s
    7. Merging multiple exposures in Guided Edit
      7m 24s
    8. Applying the Scene Cleaner in Guided Edit
      6m 31s
    9. Running Automated Actions in Guided Edit
      2m 28s
  7. 30m 57s
    1. Touring the Full Edit workspace
      6m 5s
    2. Working with tabbed documents
      4m 28s
    3. Arranging panels
      4m 14s
    4. Using tools
      8m 15s
    5. Setting editing preferences
      3m 8s
    6. Adjusting color settings
      4m 47s
  8. 46m 0s
    1. Using Undo History
      6m 6s
    2. Zooming and navigating
      5m 38s
    3. Creating a blank file
      5m 43s
    4. Photo resizing and resolution
      8m 21s
    5. Enlarging the canvas
      3m 10s
    6. Cropping and straightening an image
      3m 12s
    7. Using the Recompose tool
      3m 23s
    8. Processing multiple files
      6m 16s
    9. Saving and formats
      4m 11s
  9. 23m 25s
    1. Understanding layers
      3m 30s
    2. Working in the Layers panel
      8m 53s
    3. Combining images with layer masks
      11m 2s
  10. 22m 24s
    1. Understanding selections
      3m 39s
    2. Manual selection tools
      7m 36s
    3. Automatic selection tools
      3m 9s
    4. Refining a selection
      3m 59s
    5. Modifying and saving selections
      4m 1s
  11. 55m 51s
    1. Using adjustment layers
      9m 21s
    2. Adding a Levels adjustment layer
      4m 49s
    3. Applying a Shadows/Highlights adjustment
      3m 24s
    4. Adding a Hue/Saturation adjustment layer
      5m 30s
    5. Adjusting with Color Curves
      4m 3s
    6. Removing a color cast
      3m 55s
    7. Correcting skin tone
      2m 10s
    8. Reducing digital noise
      3m 44s
    9. Sharpening photos
      9m 42s
    10. Working with raw photos
      9m 13s
  12. 18m 58s
    1. Using the Smart Brush tool
      5m 20s
    2. Using the Detail Smart Brush tool
      3m 30s
    3. Dodging and burning
      1m 49s
    4. Healing blemishes
      3m 51s
    5. Removing content with the Clone Stamp tool
      3m 15s
    6. Removing red-eye
      1m 13s
  13. 26m 26s
    1. Applying filters
      5m 6s
    2. Adding effects
      3m 0s
    3. Using layer styles
      3m 36s
    4. Using shapes
      8m 25s
    5. Using the Cookie Cutter tool
      2m 54s
    6. Converting color to black and white
      3m 25s
  14. 7m 35s
    1. Creating text
      4m 7s
    2. Editing text
      3m 28s
  15. 27m 26s
    1. Making a photo collage
      7m 15s
    2. Stitching a photo panorama
      3m 43s
    3. Saving for the web
      6m 40s
    4. Creating web galleries in Bridge
      6m 47s
    5. Creating a PDF slideshow
      3m 1s
  16. 4m 34s
    1. Printing photos and contact sheets
      2m 49s
    2. Sending photos by mail
      1m 45s
  17. 23s
    1. Goodbye
      23s

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