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In Photoshop CS5: Selections in Depth, author Jan Kabili offers a comprehensive tour of Photoshop CS5's selection features. Selection options are the key to performing creative imaging tasks, such as isolating photo adjustments and making image composites. This course covers selection basics as well as the nuances of selections, including selecting hair, refining masks, saving and recalling selections, working in Quick Mask mode, and creating selections based on image properties, such as luminosity and color channels. Exercise files are included with the course.
There are times when the marching ants of a selection border can get in your way, making it difficult to see what you are doing in an image. Fortunately, you don't have to eliminate those marching ants altogether; you can simply make them temporarily invisible. To show you that, I am going to load a particularly dense selection that I made around these trees. I'll go to the Channels panel, and there I have an Alpha 1 channel that represents selection that I made earlier, using the Color Range command and the Refine selection dialog box. I saved that selection as an Alpha channel by going to select Save Selection, as I will explain how to do in a later movie.
I'd like to load that selection, and to do that I am going to hold down the Command key on a Mac or the Ctrl key on a PC and click right on the thumbnail on that Alpha channel. I don't want to click on the Alpha channel itself but on its thumbnail, and that loads this dense selection that I made earlier. I made this selection so that I'd have a boundary inside of which I could paint. I have a dark red color here in the Foreground Color Box and the Brush tool selected in the Tools panel, and I am going to start painting inside of this selection.
But the marching ants are so dense and complex here that it's difficult to see exactly where I am painting. So what I'd like to do is to hide the marching ants temporarily. The long way to do that is to go up to the View menu at the top of the screen and toggle off the Extras command. Now if I paint with that dark color, I can see exactly where I am painting. The selection is still active, but the marching ants that define the selection are temporarily invisible. If I want to bring the marching ants back, I will go back to View menu and down to Extras again and toggle that command back on.
Now to be honest, I very rarely go all the way up to the View menu and down to Extras to make the marching ants invisible and then visible again; instead, I will use the keyboard shortcut: Command+H on the Mac, or Ctrl+H on the PC. One caveat for you Mac users: if you don't see the Command+H shortcut listed here next to Extras, it's possible that you reassign that command to the Apple default, which is to hide an application, in this case Photoshop, instead of hiding the selection boundary.
If that's the case and you'd like to reassign Command+H to hide the selection boundary, you can do that using the Edit Keyboard Shortcuts command. I will go over to the Edit menu and down to Keyboard Shortcuts. In the Keyboard Shortcuts dialog box, make sure that you are viewing shortcuts for application menus and then scroll down to the View category. Click the arrow to the left of View and then scroll down in that category to the Extras command.
If you don't see a shortcut to the right of the Extras command, you can add the Command+H shortcut here by clicking in the Shortcut column and then pressing Command+H on your keyboard. Then click the Accept button and save this change by clicking the Save icon here, and click OK. Now on a Mac, pressing Command+H will make the selection boundary temporarily invisible, and pressing Command+H again will bring it back into view.
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