Photoshop Elements 10 Essential Training
Illustration by Richard Downs

Understanding selections


Photoshop Elements 10 Essential Training

with Jan Kabili

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Video: Understanding selections

Selections let you isolate part of a layer to work on without affecting the rest of the layer. To show you what a selection looks like I'm going to select one of the simpler Selection tools in the toolbar, the Rectangular Marquee tool, which is used to make rectangular or square selections. I'll move into the image and create a rectangular selection by clicking in this pane of glass and dragging toward its bottom right corner. The animated dashes that you see are called marching ants, they represent the boundary of my selection.
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  1. 23m 48s
    1. Welcome
    2. Getting around Elements
      6m 9s
    3. Exploring the differences in Mac versions of Elements
      5m 41s
    4. Working with Organizer catalogs
      6m 16s
    5. Using the exercise files
      4m 44s
  2. 21m 39s
    1. Touring the Organizer
      5m 35s
    2. Importing photos from a camera
      4m 44s
    3. Importing photos from a computer
      3m 1s
    4. Importing photos from an iPhoto library
      5m 27s
    5. Importing photos from external drives
      2m 52s
  3. 31m 24s
    1. Working in Thumbnail view
      4m 10s
    2. Working in Folder Location view
      4m 33s
    3. Reviewing photos in Full Screen view
      4m 55s
    4. Editing and organizing in Full Screen view
      7m 20s
    5. Comparing photos in Side by Side view
      4m 10s
    6. Displaying photos in Date view
      2m 40s
    7. Viewing photo information
      3m 36s
  4. 47m 47s
    1. Using keyword tags to categorize photos
      6m 42s
    2. Organizing keyword tags
      4m 25s
    3. Finding photos by keyword tag
      3m 39s
    4. Automatically tagging people
      8m 21s
    5. Using automatic smart tagging
      5m 36s
    6. Assigning ratings to photos
      4m 9s
    7. Creating albums to organize photos
      5m 7s
    8. Creating smart albums
      5m 52s
    9. Stacking photos to reduce thumbnail clutter
      3m 56s
  5. 24m 36s
    1. Finding photos that are visually similar to each other
      4m 3s
    2. Searching for an object in a photo
      3m 46s
    3. Finding duplicate photos
      4m 50s
    4. Searching by text
      5m 59s
    5. Exploring the Find menu
      4m 27s
    6. Finding photos in the Timeline
      1m 31s
  6. 22m 42s
    1. Deleting photos
      4m 30s
    2. Renaming photos
      2m 24s
    3. Moving photos
      3m 58s
    4. Reconnecting missing files
      4m 37s
    5. Changing photo dates
      4m 30s
    6. Backing up
      2m 43s
  7. 16m 14s
    1. Choosing an editing workspace
      4m 37s
    2. Autocorrecting with the Organizer's Photo Fix options
      3m 47s
    3. Photo finishing with the Organizer's Photo Fix options
      4m 2s
    4. Changing a Photo Fix adjustment
      3m 48s
  8. 22m 10s
    1. Editing with assistance: the Guided Edit workspace
      6m 27s
    2. Retouching a photo the step-by-step way
      7m 55s
    3. Creating a dreamlike Orton effect
      1m 8s
    4. Simulating shallow depth of field
      4m 11s
    5. Creating a collage using Picture Stack
      2m 29s
  9. 29m 27s
    1. Quick improvements: introducing the Quick Edit workspace
      3m 28s
    2. Applying Quick Edit corrections
      4m 8s
    3. Adjusting lighting
      4m 0s
    4. Correcting color
      4m 20s
    5. Fixing red-eye, improving skies, and touching up photos
      6m 29s
    6. Sharpening images
      3m 10s
    7. Saving in Quick Edit
      3m 52s
  10. 41m 16s
    1. Full control: introducing the Full Edit workspace
      5m 19s
    2. Tips for using the editing tools
      3m 50s
    3. Customizing panels
      5m 10s
    4. Undoing your work
      6m 22s
    5. Zooming and navigating
      4m 41s
    6. Saving images and examining file formats
      4m 50s
    7. Working with multiple documents
      4m 0s
    8. Creating a file from scratch
      2m 57s
    9. Customizing Editor preferences
      4m 7s
  11. 25m 42s
    1. Understanding layers
      7m 3s
    2. Managing layers in the Layers panel
      7m 19s
    3. Tips for working with layers
      4m 25s
    4. Understanding layer masks
      6m 55s
  12. 30m 0s
    1. Understanding selections
      6m 49s
    2. Using manual selection tools
      4m 42s
    3. Modifying selections
      4m 20s
    4. Using the automatic selection tools
      7m 11s
    5. Refining selections
      4m 50s
    6. Saving selections
      2m 8s
  13. 23m 52s
    1. Retouching blemishes with the Spot Healing Brush tool
      2m 50s
    2. Retouching skin with the Healing Brush tool
      6m 7s
    3. Retouching with the Clone Stamp tool
      1m 58s
    4. Using the Content-Aware option in the Spot Healing Brush to remove content
      3m 13s
    5. Touching up photos with the Smart Brush tools
      7m 22s
    6. Using the Dodge, Burn, and Sponge tools
      2m 22s
  14. 1h 0m
    1. Understanding color management
      7m 23s
    2. Understanding adjustment layers
      6m 49s
    3. Adjusting part of a photo
      6m 16s
    4. Correcting contrast and brightness using Levels controls
      5m 6s
    5. Enhancing color with Hue/Saturation
      4m 32s
    6. Improving shadow and highlights using Shadow/Highlight
      2m 36s
    7. Adjusting lighting and color using Color Curves
      3m 53s
    8. Removing a color cast
      2m 11s
    9. Converting color to black and white
      3m 15s
    10. Reducing noise
      3m 53s
    11. Sharpening images
      6m 43s
    12. Processing multiple photos
      8m 19s
  15. 23m 7s
    1. Resizing and changing photo resolution
      7m 1s
    2. Cropping photos
      5m 36s
    3. Straightening photos
      2m 35s
    4. Adding canvas around photos
      2m 43s
    5. Changing a photos orientation using the Recompose tool
      5m 12s
  16. 23m 50s
    1. Combining photos using the Place command
      5m 21s
    2. Using a layer mask to hide a background
      6m 26s
    3. Blending images using a gradient
      8m 18s
    4. Blending images using Blend modes
      3m 45s
  17. 24m 2s
    1. Creating text
      6m 22s
    2. Editing text
      3m 49s
    3. Creating text on a selection
      6m 1s
    4. Creating text around a shape
      3m 51s
    5. Creating text on a custom path
      3m 59s
  18. 22m 43s
    1. Applying filters
      5m 24s
    2. Adding effects
      2m 6s
    3. Adding layer styles
      7m 38s
    4. Making shapes
      5m 17s
    5. Using the Cookie Cutter tool
      2m 18s
  19. 42m 15s
    1. Understanding Camera Raw
      3m 35s
    2. The Camera Raw interface
      5m 16s
    3. Adjusting color using the white balance controls
      4m 41s
    4. Controlling lighting and contrast
      6m 26s
    5. Enhancing photos with the Clarity, Vibrance, and Saturation controls
      2m 39s
    6. Cropping and straightening
      2m 13s
    7. Reducing Noise
      2m 24s
    8. Sharpening
      6m 46s
    9. Outputting from Camera Raw
      4m 43s
    10. Processing multiple photos in Camera Raw
      3m 32s
  20. 56m 44s
    1. Creating a photo book
      6m 50s
    2. Completing the photo book
      10m 5s
    3. Creating a photo calendar
      8m 19s
    4. Creating a photo greeting card
      5m 18s
    5. Making other photo creations in the Create workspace
      2m 8s
    6. Outputting photo creations from the Create workspace
      2m 50s
    7. Creating a photo slideshow in Windows
      8m 45s
    8. Completing the photo slideshow
      3m 31s
    9. Making a scrapbook page from scratch in Full Edit
      8m 58s
  21. 41m 35s
    1. Printing photos
      8m 30s
    2. Printing contact sheets and picture packages in Windows
      5m 23s
    3. Printing contact sheets and picture packages on a Mac
      8m 33s
    4. Ordering prints from the Organizer
      4m 23s
    5. Sharing photos by email from the Organizer
      3m 46s
    6. Sharing photos with Photo Mail in Windows
      5m 3s
    7. Sharing photos on Facebook from the Organizer
      3m 42s
    8. Sharing photos on Flickr from the Organizer
      2m 15s
  22. 7m 34s
    1. Signing up for an Adobe ID
      2m 20s
    2. Sharing online albums from the Organizer to
      5m 14s
  23. 40s
    1. Goodbye

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Watch the Online Video Course Photoshop Elements 10 Essential Training
11h 3m Beginner Mar 12, 2012

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

In this course, author Jan Kabili introduces the photo organizing, editing, and sharing features of Adobe Photoshop Elements 10, the less expensive version of Photoshop that’s ideal for casual photographers who want to achieve professional results. The course covers importing, organizing, and finding photos with the Organizer. It explains how and when to use each of the editing workspaces—from the simple Quick Fix and Guided Edit workspaces to the Full Edit workspace for enhancing your photos—including making photo corrections, retouching, compositing images, and adding text. The final chapter offers creative ways to share photos with Elements, including print projects like greeting cards, calendars, and books, emailing photos, and posting them on Facebook and Flickr.

Topics include:
  • Importing photos from a camera, computer, or iPhoto library
  • Adding keyword tags and ratings to photos
  • Automatically tagging people
  • Organizing photos into albums
  • Renaming and moving photos
  • Correcting common photo problems automatically
  • Retouching photos of friends and family
  • Adjusting lighting and color
  • Working with layers and layer masks
  • Converting photos to black-and-white
  • Cropping and straightening photos
  • Adding text to photos
  • Working with raw photos
  • Making a slideshow
  • Ordering prints
Photoshop Elements Elements
Jan Kabili

Understanding selections

Selections let you isolate part of a layer to work on without affecting the rest of the layer. To show you what a selection looks like I'm going to select one of the simpler Selection tools in the toolbar, the Rectangular Marquee tool, which is used to make rectangular or square selections. I'll move into the image and create a rectangular selection by clicking in this pane of glass and dragging toward its bottom right corner. The animated dashes that you see are called marching ants, they represent the boundary of my selection.

Now whatever I do to the image will affect just the selected area on the selected layer. I have the window layer selected in the Layers panel which contains the photograph. There are many things that I can do inside of a selection. As just one example, I can fill the selection with color. To do that, I'll go up to the Edit menu at the top of the screen, I'll choose Fill Selection, and that opens the Fill layer dialog box. First, I'll choose a color with which to fill the selection.

I could use whatever color is currently in the Foreground Color Box at the bottom of my toolbar, or whatever color is in the Background Color Box there, or I could fill with a pattern, or black, gray, or white. Or if I click on Color, that opens the Color Picker where I can choose a color to fill with. So I could move the Hue slider to an area of color and then choose the shade of that color over here. Or with the Color Picker open, if I move my mouse into the image, it changes to an Eyedropper, and I can sample a color right out of the photo, which is often a good thing to do, because then the color that's selected will match the colors in the photo.

So I'll click on an orange in the adobe wall, that selects that orange, and I'll click OK. I could fill with a solid orange, but I do want to show you what the Blending mode menu does here in the Fill layer dialog box. It's similar to the Blend modes in the Layers panel that I showed you in an earlier movie on managing layers. The Blend modes in the Fill layer dialog box control the way that the color with which I'm going to fill is going to interact with the colors on the layer below. So if I click and drag down in this menu and I choose the Color Blending mode, that will create a Monotone effect that will lay down color, but leave the tones of the photograph visible.

So I'm going to select Color there, and then I'll click OK to fill that selection with color, as you can see in the image. When I'm done using a selection, I want to deselect it. I'll go up to the Select menu and I'll choose Deselect, or use the keyboard shortcut, Ctrl+D on the PC, or Command+D on the Mac. This is a common one so it's worth remembering. There are lots of other things that I could do to a selected area. I could copy a selection or move a selection. I could make a new layer from a selection, as I showed you how to do in an earlier movie on managing layers.

Another useful thing is to be able to stroke the outline of a selection. To show you that, I'm going to make another rectangular selection in this pane of glass, and then I'm going to go up to the Edit menu and I'm going to choose Stroke (Outline) Selection. In this dialog box I have a number of options; I can choose the Width of the stroke; I'll set this to 3 pixels so you can see it. I'll leave the color set to its default of black. I can choose whether the stroke will be inside the selection border, at the center of the selection, or outside of it; I'll click inside.

And there are other choices here, which I'll leave at the defaults for now. I'll click OK, and if you look closely, you can see there is now a black outline under the selection border. I'm going to leave this selection active to show you one more thing that you can do to a selected area of a layer. I'll go over to the Effects panel and I'm going to apply an effect to this area of the window layer, which is selected in the Layers panel. I'll double-click the Film Grain Effect, for example, and that changes the appearance of the area inside my selection.

When I'm done with this election, I'll press Ctrl+D on my keyboard, Command+D on a Mac keyboard to deselect. I want to show you one more thing about selections, and that's how they interact with layer masks. I covered layer masks in detail in the last movie of the preceding chapter, and I showed you how you can add black, white, or gray pixels to a layer mask by either painting on the mask or using a gradient. Another way to automatically add black, white, and gray pixels to a layer mask is to first make a selection and then create the layer mask.

So let's say that I want to hide this area of this photo so that we can see down through this area to the Background layer below, which contains just plain blue. With my Rectangular Marquee tool I'm going to click and drag to select this pane of glass in the window, and then I'm going to invert that selection so that everything except the pane of glass is selected in the photo. To do that I'll go up to the Select menu and I'll choose Inverse, and now you can see the outside of my selection here around the entire document and the inside of the selection here around the window.

The window itself is no longer selected. So with that selection active, I'm going to go over to the Layers panel and create a New layer mask, the same way I showed you in the preceding movie, which is to click the Add Layer Mask icon at the bottom of the Layers panel. That adds this layer mask thumbnail to the selected window layer, and you can see the effect of this layer mask here in the document window. What it's doing is hiding the non- selected area, the area of the window pane, so that we can see down through this area to the Background layer below.

I'll show you the layer mask by holding the Alt key, that's the Option key on the Mac, and clicking on the layer mask thumbnail in the Layers panel. So you'll remember that I had everything selected except this small square, all of the selected area is filled with white on the layer mask, and as you know from the preceding movie, the white part of a layer mask reveals the content of the layer to which the mask is attached, so that's why we can see everything except for the non-selected area, the pane of glass, which has automatically been filled with black on the layer mask.

And where a layer mask is black, as you know, the black pixels hide the content of the selected layer. So I'm going to hold the Alt key or the Option key again and click on that layer Mask icon to bring back the regular view of the image. So that's how to use selections along with layer masks. There are other ways to use selections too, but that should give you a pretty good idea of what a selection looks like and some of the important uses for selections. In the next movies we'll take a closer look at some of the specific selection tools.

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