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How to select with Photoshop

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How to select with Photoshop: After reading my guides on how to use Photoshop, did you get a great desire to take advantage of the famous Adobe photo editing program to create photomontages? Very well, I like your initiative… but first you have to learn how to use the selection tools included in the software well.

At the base of every good photomontage, in fact, there is the correct selection of the elements to be inserted in it, and in this sense Photoshop offers a very wide range of solutions that must be learned to distinguish and use with care. How about if I give you a hand to take your first steps in this world and let’s find out together how to select with Photoshop? It will be much less complicated than you imagine.

To learn how to select with Photoshop you must be able to master all the selection tools included in the program. These include the Rectangular Marquee Tool and the Elliptical Marquee Tool, which allow you to make selections based on geometric shapes, and the Lazis, which allow you to freely select people and objects.

How to select with Photoshop on PC

To learn how to select with Photoshop you must be able to master all the selection tools included in the program. Among these are the Rectangular Marquee Tool and it Elliptical Marquee Toolwhich allow you to make selections based on geometric shapes, and i laziwhich instead allow you to select people and objects in a “free” way.

Then choose the tool that seems best suited to the element you want to select and start your photo editing work. To see the complete list of all available selection tools, right-click on the icons of the rectangular selection he was born in simple lasso present in the Photoshop toolbar (the one located on the left side of the screen).

At this point you have to use the mouse to create your selection based on the characteristics of the chosen tool. I’ll list the main ones below, so you can choose better.

  • Rectangular Marquee Tool – creates a simple rectangular selection that is applied by holding down the left mouse button and “drawing” the selection to be made on the screen.
  • Elliptical Marquee Tool – creates an elliptical selection that is applied by holding down the left mouse button and “drawing” the selection to be made on the screen.
  • Lasso tool – allows you to freely select any part of the image. It should be used by holding down the left mouse button and tracing the profile of the person or object to be selected in the photo.
  • Magnetic Lasso Tool – it should be used as a lasso but has the ability to adhere intelligently to the edges of the selected image. By clicking while using it, you can insert full stops to refine the selection.
  • Polygonal Lasso tool – allows you to create polygonal selections. It is used by clicking on the points where you want to insert the corners of the polygon.

Photoshop selection tools

After selecting one of the aforementioned tools, act directly on the work area in the center. Note that, if you want, you can also select multiple elements at the same time in the same image. Just hold down the button Shift on the computer keyboard and create all the selections after the first one (to be created following the guidelines above).

Let’s take a few practical examples, so you can better understand how to use Photoshop’s selection tools. To select a person, for example, I recommend using it Magnetic Lasso tool trying to be as precise as possible while tracing the edges of the subject in question.

Magnetic Lasso Photoshop

Don’t overdo it, though. You can then click on the button Refine Edge located at the top right and refine your selection using the adjustment bars in the window that opens.

When finished, you should be able to get an extremely precise selection ideal for cut out the selected element and use it in photomontages or other artistic creations.

For more information on this procedure, I suggest you take a look at my guide on how to crop with Photoshop, in which I explained step by step how to extract objects and people from photos using the most famous photo editing software in the world.

An “alternative” technique for selecting people and objects with Photoshop is the quick maskwhich can be called up by clicking on the button located under the color palette or by pressing the key Q on the computer keyboard. With the quick mask, in fact, you can use the brush tool to “color” the portions of the image to be excluded from the selection by setting it to White or to include in the selection by setting it to black.

Quick Photoshop Mask

It is a very versatile tool that can be used both to create selections from scratch and to refine selections made previously with the lasso. To learn more about how it works, read the guide on how to select an object with Photoshop that I published on my site. I assure you that everything is much simpler than you imagine.

In addition to the “manual” selection tools that I explained to you in the previous lines, there are also some “automatic” ones that can greatly facilitate your work. They work very well, even if it must be said that for more complex jobs, acting “manually” could always be the best way.

Among the automatic selection tools there is, for example, lo Quick Selection tool: to call it up, click on the icon brush with the hatched area (in the toolbar on the left) and, holding down the left mouse button, hover the pointer over the subject to be selected automatically, until the selection is completed.

Photoshop's automatic selection tools

If you need to select a particular subject (such as a person in the foreground), call him back Object Selection tool (by right clicking on the brush with the hatched area placed in the program toolbar and selecting the appropriate wording) and, when passing the mouse, wait for it to be recognized by the Photoshop algorithm: if this happens it will be highlighted in blue and you can select it by clicking on it. Simple, right?

How to select with Photoshop online

Photoshop on the web

Having activated your Creative Cloud membership, you can also take advantage of Photoshop on the weban online version of the popular photo editing program, which is simple to use and works on Chromium-based browsers installed on computers with at least 4GB of RAM and a processor of at least 2GHz.

To use it, go to yours Creative Cloud librarylog in with your Adobe ID and click onpreview of the photo you intend to act on. Next, click the button (∨) attached to the button Open in and select the item Photoshop on the web.

On the page that opened, then, click on the icon brush with the hatched area (on the toolbar on the left) and choose one of the available tools (eg. Lasso, Quick selection, Rectangular selection, Elliptical selectionetc.), whose operation is almost identical to that of the desktop version of Photoshop (so I will not repeat myself in indicating how it works, having already done it in previous chapter).

If the online version of Photoshop does not meet your taste, you can take advantage of alternative solutions, such as Photopeawhich I told you about in my tutorial on how to edit photos online and has an interface practically identical to that of Photoshop for Windows and macOS.

How to select with Photoshop mobile

Photoshop for iPad

Would you select with Photoshop on smartphones and tablets, but you don’t know if it’s feasible how what? Well, it depends on which Photoshop app you use on your device.

If you take advantage of one of the free ones (eg Photoshop Express, Photoshop Lightroom, etc.), you should know that, at the time of writing, they do not offer selection tools useful for the purpose in question. The discourse changes, however, if you use it Photoshop for iPadwhich is free for one month (then costs € 10.99 / month, unless you already have an active Creative Cloud subscription).

After opening the app and importing the photo to be edited using the function Import and opentap on the icon brush with the hatched area located on the toolbar (left) and choose the tool to use: Lassoto select a “free” shape with your finger or the Apple Pencil; Object selectionto select the subject of your interest with a simple tap; Rectangle selectionto draw a rectangular selection; Ellipse selection, to draw an elliptical selection; and so on.

Once you have identified the tool of your interest, to use it, all you have to do is act directly on the image. Using the buttons at the bottom, you can also deselect, invert the selection, improve the border, and so on. Interesting, right