Make selections with the marquee tools Photoshop CS6

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Making selections with the marquee tools

When it comes to learning Photoshop, you will hear people say that you need to select before you correct, and the better your selections, well, the better the corrections. So here we are going to focus in on a number of our different selection tools. We are going to start off in our Tools panel. We will start up at the top with the Marquee tools. If you click on this icon here and hold it down, you can see that there are two main tools. These tools are used really often when working with photographs. Those are Rectangular or Elliptical Marquee. Both of these work in similar ways, yet each of them allows us to select a different shape.

Let's start off with the Rectangular Marquee. Well, here we can go ahead and click and drag in order to create selections. You can see these little dots, these are called marching ants, and these signify the area which is selected. One of the things that you need to know how to do when working with selections is how to deselect. Let me show you the shortcut for that. If you go to the Select menu, you'll notice there's an option for deselect and here's that shortcut. On a Mac it's Command+D, Windows that's Ctrl+D. Let's go ahead and press that shortcut in order to deselect.

Next, let's look at our Elliptical Marquee tool. This one allows us to create selections which are in the shape of an ellipse. Here, you can see you can click and drag this out. And what both of these tools, well, they are anchored where we first started off. Now sometimes that's a little bit awkward, because we don't really know where to click, like let's say I want to select the watch. Well, what you can do is press the Spacebar key while holding down your mouse button. That allows you to lift up the selection, put it in a new spot, and then let go of the Spacebar key, and then you can resize that selection area.

Another important part about making selections is the Selection edge. By default, it's a hard edge. There is no feather. We can navigate to or Edit pulldown menu, then we can choose Fill. Here, I am going to go ahead and fill the selection with white. Let's click OK. Next, let's deselect. We can do so by going to the menu or by simply using our shortcut key Command+D or Ctrl+D. Well, here with this selection, you can see that really nice hard edge.

Well, we can soften that by clicking on our Selection tool and dragging to increase this. Let's go up to say 15 points or so. Next, we will click and drag an extension and do the same thing as before, Edit, and then choose Fill. Here, I will go ahead and fill once again with white and then click OK. Then I will deselect, Command+D or Ctrl+D. Now when I do that, you can see that this selected area, well, it's much more diffused. The edge is much softer, and it kind of blends back into the picture.

I need to remove both of these little things that I've done here. To do so, press Command+Option on a Mac, Ctrl+Alt on Windows, and then tap the Z key in order to step backwards. Well, let's say that what we want to do with this image is we want to select the center area of this camera. We are going to do so with our Elliptical Marquee tool, and I want to change the contrast and color saturation. I want to learn how to use one of these tools. We will go and click on it in the Tools panel, and then let's take our Feather down maybe just a couple of pixels here, 2 or 3 or so will work well.

Go ahead and click near the area that you want to select. If you don't get it right, press the Spacebar key to reposition that and then click to resize your selection. And then keep pressing the Spacebar and keep resizing until you have a nice selection of the lens. Now, once we've made that selection, we can modify it in some really powerful ways. So far we've looked at how we could fill with a selection with the color. Well, let's say we actually want to modify our picture, that area of our picture. To do that, let's go to our Image pulldown menu and then go to Adjustments and just choose this very top adjustment, Brightness/Contrast.

Here, just to this area, I will go ahead and increase the brightness and also increase the contrast. Well, now this matches a little bit better with the background. It has that interesting color palette and nice contrast. Let's go ahead and click OK in order to apply this and then deselect. Go to Select and choose Deselect or use that shortcut. And here, you can see we've now modified this photograph in a really helpful way. We were able to create a selection which allowed us to apply adjustment just to the lens.

Without that selection, it would have modified everything, and that just wouldn't have worked. So selections, as you can see, they can help us out immensely. So let's take a look at how we can work with other selections as well, because what we need to know how to do is not just how to use these tools, but also how to modify them a little bit. And let's do that in the next few movies.

Making selections with the marquee tools
Video duration: 4m 50s 12h 20m Beginner


Making selections with the marquee tools provides you with in-depth training on Photography. Taught by Chris Orwig as part of the Photoshop CS6 for Photographers

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