Adobe Photoshop Tutorial: Quick Selection Tool

The Quick Selection Tool is a relatively new tool in Photoshop that is fast and easy for selecting items.

Quick Selection Tool

After selecting this tool simply paint the area you want to select with the curser.  You can adjust the brush in the menu bar depending on the size and contrast of the object you wish to select.  You can change the diameter, hardness and spacing of the brush and even have the option of changing its angle and roundness.  If you need to change your brush size while making a selection, press the right bracket (]) to increase the size and the left bracket ([) to decrease it.

Quick Selection Menu 

There are three selection options.  The default option is to select a New Selection.  Once you have made an initial selection, the option automatically switches to Add to Selection to increase the selection area.  If you need to deselect a portion of the selected area, choose Subtract from Selection and paint on the area you wish to deselect.

Using Quick Selection

Sample All Layers allows you to select from all layers rather than just the currently selected layer.  Auto-Enhance automatically smoothes out the edges of the selection boundary.

For more control over the edge of your selection, click on the Refine Edge button.  The Refine Edge button allows you to refine your selection and view your selection against a neutral background so you can more clearly see how your selection will look.  Select a portion of your image, and then click on this button.  By default when you choose this, everything outside of your selection will appear white so you can more clearly see what you have selected.  You can then use the sliders to adjust the selection area.  Make sure Preview is checked so you can see the results of your changes. 

 Refine Edge

Radius controls the size of the area inside the selection boundary where the edge refinement occurs.  The higher the number the more contracted from the original selection area.  Contrast sharpens the edges of the selection.  The higher the Contrast number the more defined the edges will be.  Smooth controls irregularities in the selection boundary.  The higher the number, the more smoothed out the selection boundary will be.  Feathering the selection will create a faded transition from the selected area to the area outside the selection.  The higher the number, the larger the feathered area will be up to 250 pixels.  Contract/Expand enlarges or minimizes the selection boundary.  Positive numbers expand and negative numbers contract.  This tool in conjunction with others can help fix problems in your selection boundary.  For example, if some of the background is still visible around the edge of your selection, contract the boundary.  Below the sliders are five options that allow you to adjust how your selection is previewed with descriptions below that describe each option.

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