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Modifying selections

From: Photoshop CS4 Essential Training

Video: Modifying selections

Once you've made an initial selection with one of the Selection tools you'll often need to adjust the selection boundaries to get them just right. For example, you might want to reposition a selection boundary or transform its shape so that it better fits the underlying image. And sometimes you're going to want to completely invert your selection. Let's take a look at how to make these kinds of modifications to a selection. To start with I'm going to make a selection, not a very good one, one that needs adjusting. I'll go to the toolbox and I'll select the Elliptical Marquee and then I'm going to come in and I'm holding my Shift key down to constrain to a circle and I'm going to drag, but I'm not going to get it in the right position there.

Modifying selections

Once you've made an initial selection with one of the Selection tools you'll often need to adjust the selection boundaries to get them just right. For example, you might want to reposition a selection boundary or transform its shape so that it better fits the underlying image. And sometimes you're going to want to completely invert your selection. Let's take a look at how to make these kinds of modifications to a selection. To start with I'm going to make a selection, not a very good one, one that needs adjusting. I'll go to the toolbox and I'll select the Elliptical Marquee and then I'm going to come in and I'm holding my Shift key down to constrain to a circle and I'm going to drag, but I'm not going to get it in the right position there.

Now if I want to move this selection you might think to go to the Move tool, which is here in the toolbox and then drag inside the selection, but notice that the Icon is now changed to scissors and what that means is that if you click-and-drag a selection with the Move tool, you take with the selection boundary the underlying image. That isn't what I wanted to do in this case, so I'm going to undo by pressing Command+Z or Ctrl+Z on a PC. If I want to move just the selection boundary then I need to go back to the toolbox and choose one of my selection tools.

Any of the Marquee tools here, the Lasso tools here, or any of the tools in this slot, which are Color Selection tools that we'll cover in another movie. So I get one of my Marquee tools and then I'm going to come in and click-and-drag that selection boundary and it goes without the underlying content. So I can use this technique to get that circle more where I want it in the image, and then if it still isn't exactly right, I can go onto transform the shape of the selection. To do that I'm going to the Select menu at the top of the screen and I am going to choose Transform Selection.

That gives me this bounding box with anchor points. I can click on any of the anchor points with my cursor and drag in to modify the shape of the selection or drag out if I didn't get it exactly right until it looks the way I want it, and I can also reposition with this bounding box. When I am all done making the transformation, I have to go up to the Options Bar and click this checkmark to accept the transform. If I want to reject the transformation I click this icon next to the checkmark. I'll click the checkmark right now and the bounding box disappears.

Sometimes you're going to find that it is easier to select the opposite of what you actually want to select in the end. A good example of that is when you are making changes to a landscape and the sky is relatively open so that it's easy to select, but the foreground has all kinds of objects on it and so would be a little more difficult to select. So you might find it easier to select the sky and then to invert your selection to get the foreground so that you can make some adjustments to the foreground. To invert a selection you'll go up to the Select menu at the top of the screen and choose Inverse. This is another shortcut you may want to remember.

It is Shift+Command+I on the Mac or Shift+Ctrl+I on a PC. So keep your eye on the image and notice that now there is a selection boundary all around the outside of the image indicating that everything except the red circle has been selected. Just to prove it I'm going to go to the toolbox and select the Brush tool, which has some black paint here in the foreground color box, and I'm going to click-and-drag and you see the black paint only goes in the selected area, which is every place except for the circle.

Let me undo that by pressing Command or Ctrl+Z, and then I'll deselect by pressing Command or Ctrl+D. Let me show you one more way that you can modify a selection. I find this one really comes in handy. It's the ability to automatically expand a selection. I'll show you what I mean. I'm going to command with the Rectangular Marquee tool. Let's say I wanted to select this whole green area. An easy way to do it is just to click- and-drag a small rectangular selection there and then go up to the Select menu at the top of the screen and go down to the Grow command. And boom! I've now selected all of the green that is contiguous to the small rectangle that I initially selected.

By contiguous to, I mean that pixels are touching one another in this selected area. Now watch what happens if I go back to the Select menu and I choose Similar instead of Grow. Now Photoshop automatically selects all of the green in the photo, not just contiguous patches of green. So this is a great way to select a large area without going to the trouble of selecting everything. You can just make a small selection and let Photoshop do the heavy lifting for you. It's actually making the selection based on similar colors and tones.

So please keep in mind that your initial selection isn't necessarily your final selection. There are quite a few ways that you can modify your initial selections. You can move them with any Selection tool, you can adjust them with the Transform Selection command, you can invert them, or you can use the Grow and Similar commands I just showed you to let Photoshop do the work of making a larger selection for you.

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This video is part of

Image for Photoshop CS4 Essential Training
Photoshop CS4 Essential Training

103 video lessons · 67330 viewers

Jan Kabili
Author

 
Expand all | Collapse all
  1. 2m 31s
    1. Welcome
      1m 27s
    2. Using the example files
      1m 4s
  2. 25m 14s
    1. Touring the interface
      4m 25s
    2. Working with tabbed documents
      5m 15s
    3. Using tools efficiently
      3m 51s
    4. Arranging panels
      3m 53s
    5. Customizing keyboard shortcuts
      2m 50s
    6. Saving a custom workspace
      3m 0s
    7. Changing screen modes
      2m 0s
  3. 19m 3s
    1. Touring the Bridge interface
      6m 31s
    2. Opening images from Bridge
      1m 20s
    3. Reviewing images
      4m 42s
    4. Finding images
      6m 30s
  4. 44m 53s
    1. Setting preferences
      4m 23s
    2. Choosing color settings
      8m 11s
    3. Zooming and panning
      5m 27s
    4. Resizing and image resolution
      3m 17s
    5. Adding to the canvas
      2m 2s
    6. Rotating the canvas
      1m 44s
    7. Choosing color
      4m 49s
    8. Sizing a brush tip
      3m 4s
    9. Undoing and the History panel
      5m 0s
    10. Saving and file formats
      3m 29s
    11. Creating a file from scratch
      3m 27s
  5. 37m 58s
    1. Making geometric selections
      6m 14s
    2. Modifying selections
      4m 43s
    3. Combining selections
      3m 16s
    4. Using the Quick Selection tool
      5m 34s
    5. Refining selection edges
      4m 12s
    6. Using Quick Mask mode
      2m 18s
    7. Selecting with the improved Color Range command
      4m 32s
    8. Selecting with the Magnetic Lasso tool
      2m 28s
    9. Using the Background Eraser tool
      3m 7s
    10. Saving selections
      1m 34s
  6. 39m 56s
    1. Understanding layers
      5m 43s
    2. Creating layers
      5m 12s
    3. Working in the Layers panel
      2m 19s
    4. Locking layers
      4m 17s
    5. Working with multiple layers
      4m 6s
    6. Merging and flattening layers
      3m 55s
    7. Adding a shape layer
      4m 43s
    8. Basic layer masking
      4m 23s
    9. Using layer blend modes and opacity
      5m 18s
  7. 23m 19s
    1. Cropping
      3m 26s
    2. Straightening
      3m 17s
    3. Transforming
      4m 42s
    4. Working with Smart Objects
      6m 48s
    5. Using Content-Aware Scaling
      5m 6s
  8. 1h 10m
    1. Reading histograms
      4m 21s
    2. Using adjustment layers and the Adjustment panel
      6m 4s
    3. Adjusting tones with Levels
      7m 49s
    4. Limiting adjustments with layer masks
      5m 40s
    5. Using masks in the new Masks panel
      6m 9s
    6. Limiting adjustments by clipping
      3m 6s
    7. Adjusting with Shadow/Highlight
      5m 7s
    8. Adjusting with Curves
      7m 37s
    9. Adjusting with Hue/Saturation
      3m 42s
    10. Adjusting with Vibrance
      2m 16s
    11. Removing a color cast
      4m 26s
    12. Using the Black & White adjustment layer
      2m 39s
    13. Using the Dodge Burn and Sponge tools
      4m 11s
    14. Reducing noise
      2m 39s
    15. Sharpening
      4m 42s
  9. 38m 0s
    1. Using the Spot Healing Brush tool
      5m 17s
    2. Using the Healing Brush tool
      5m 51s
    3. Using the Patch tool
      4m 52s
    4. Using the Clone Stamp tool
      4m 8s
    5. Enhancing eyes
      9m 29s
    6. Changing facial structure
      5m 0s
    7. Softening skin
      3m 23s
  10. 44m 38s
    1. What's a raw image?
      4m 25s
    2. Touring the Camera Raw interface
      7m 35s
    3. Working in the Basic panel
      7m 54s
    4. Working in the Tone Curve panel
      2m 21s
    5. Working in the HSL/Grayscale and Split Toning panels
      3m 46s
    6. Looking at the other Camera Raw panels
      3m 45s
    7. Using the Adjustment Brush tool
      4m 2s
    8. Using the Graduated Filter tool
      3m 56s
    9. Working with multiple files
      6m 54s
  11. 21m 6s
    1. Using the Brushes panel
      8m 30s
    2. Filling with color
      3m 49s
    3. Replacing color
      4m 14s
    4. Using gradients
      4m 33s
  12. 16m 55s
    1. Working with point type
      9m 59s
    2. Working with paragraph type
      3m 17s
    3. Warping text
      3m 39s
  13. 25m 23s
    1. Adding a layer style
      4m 6s
    2. Customizing a layer style
      3m 35s
    3. Copying a layer style
      3m 5s
    4. Creating a new style
      3m 32s
    5. Using Smart Filters
      5m 22s
    6. Working in the Filter Gallery
      5m 43s
  14. 13m 14s
    1. Auto-blending focus
      4m 47s
    2. Creating Photomerge panoramas
      4m 2s
    3. Combining group photos
      4m 25s
  15. 23m 27s
    1. Creating an action
      7m 16s
    2. Batch processing with an action
      6m 36s
    3. Using the Image Processor
      9m 35s
  16. 29m 20s
    1. Printing
      11m 32s
    2. Making a contact sheet from Bridge
      6m 12s
    3. Creating a web gallery from Bridge
      7m 17s
    4. Preparing photos for the web
      4m 19s
  17. 30s
    1. Goodbye
      30s

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