Join Jan Kabili for an in-depth discussion in this video Hiding a selection boundary, part of Photoshop CS4: Selections in Depth.
Let's face it. There are times when the marching ants of a selection just get in your way, keeping you from seeing the image that you're working on below the marching ants. That's particularly true when you have a rather complex selection. Wouldn't it be nice if you could hide the marching ants temporarily without deselecting them completely? Well, you can and I'd like to show you how in this lesson. Let's go ahead and load a complex selection that I've created in this image and saved as an Alpha channel. I'm going to go to this panel group and click on the Channels tab to view the Channels panel.
At the bottom of this panel, there is an Alpha channel. I don't want you to click right on the Alpha channel, but I'd like you to move your mouse over the thumbnail on that channel and then hold down the Command key on the Mac or the Ctrl key on the PC and click right on the Alpha channel thumbnail. And that will load the selection that's represented by that Alpha channel. Be sure that you don't click right on the Alpha channel. If you do, go up and click on the RGB channel so that you can see the image here in the document window. Now click back on the Layers panel. What I'd like to use this selection for is to create an uneven frame around the bridge and so I'd like to paint right on top of the selection border.
I'm going to go to the toolbox, where I'll select my Brush tool. I've pressed D on my keyboard to set black as my foreground color. Now I'm going to come into the image and start painting right on top of the selection border. This is a little frustrating because I can't see exactly where my black paint is landing, and that's because the marching ants are in the way. So I'm going to hide them temporarily. One way to do that is to go up to the View menu and then go down to Extras, which is checked or enabled by default. This is the long way to hide a selection and to be honest, I very rarely do this.
Because I use this command so often, I've memorized the keyboard shortcut for hiding a selection. And that is Command+H on a Mac or Ctrl+H on a PC. I suggest you do the same because you're probably going to use this command often. So I'm going to exit out of this menu and press the keyboard shortcut, Command+H on the Mac, and that makes the selection temporarily invisible without eliminating it altogether. So you can see that if I continue to paint around the border, the selection is still active and is controlling where my paint lands.
But I can see exactly where I'm painting, so I can do a better job. Now if I wanted to bring that selection back at any time, again, I could go up to the View menu and down to Extras, or once again, I could use the keyboard shortcut, Command+H on the Mac or Ctrl+H on the PC. And that brings the selection back. I hope you find this technique useful. I think you'll be using it a lot as you work with selections in Photoshop.
- Selecting manually with the Marquee, Lasso, and Pen tools
- Saving time with automatic selection methods like the Quick Selection tool and the Magic Wand tool
- Fine-tuning selections with Refine Edge
- Working with selections in Quick Mask mode
- Moving, modifying, and combining selections
- Saving selections as alpha channels
- Making complex selections from color channels
- Using the Background Eraser tool to replace a background
- Installing and using the legacy Extract plug-in to isolate an object from its background