We are going to focus on a few Selection tools. Defining a selection is simply specifying which part of an image you want to work with. Once a selection has been defined, you can adjust only that part of an image, the rest remains unchanged. You can also copy the selection and move it to another image or background.
Let’s get started using Selection Tools. We will start with the Rectangular and Elliptical tools.
- Tip for using any Selection Tools – make sure you are working in Expert Mode, not Quick or Guided.
Rectangular Selection Tool
- Open the photo that you want to create the selection from. I have chosen a photo we took on a tour of New Bern, NC.
- Click the Rectangular Selection Tool (or press M to access the tool)
- At the bottom of your screen you will see the Rectangular Selection Tool Options panel.
- Drag your mouse on your photo to capture the selection that you want. Release your mouse when you are satisfied with your selection. When you press the Edit button, you will be given options for using your selection.
Elliptical Marquee Tool
- Open the photo that you want to create the selection from. I know this is weird, but I chose a photo of a cool glass sink I saw in Myrtle Beach.
- Click the Elleptical Selection Tool (or press M to access the tool)
- At the bottom of your screen you will see the Elliptical Selection Tool Options panel.
- Drag your mouse on your photo to capture the selection that you want. Release your mouse when you are satisfied with your selection.
- When you press the Edit button, you will be given options for using your selection.
To create a square or circle using the above tools, hold the Shift key after you begin dragging your selection. When your selection is complete, release the mouse and then the Shift key.
Using the Lasso Tools
The Lasso Set of tools provide another means of making selections, because not all objects that you want to select are uniform in shape. With a steady hand, you can create selections that you need. Think of the Lasso tools like a computer-tracer.
- Open the photo that you want to use to create your selection. I have chosen a photo of my hibiscus flowers.
- Select the Lasso Tool from the tools panel. It looks like a noose (or press the L key).
- You will see the Lasso Tool panel at the bottom of your screen.
- Place your cursor on the edge of the object you want to select. Hold down the mouse button and trace around your object, until you return to your starting point. The tricky part is not releasing the mouse button until you are finished.
- I zoom in until the object that I want to select is large enough to see the edges, but still is viewable without scrolling.
Polygon Lasso Tool
This tool is meant to be used for making selections that have straight sides.
- Open the image that you want to use to create your selection. I have chosen a paper from my kit Primary Dotties. (http://lpscrapbookingdesigns.com/downloads/primary-dotties-kit/) For this example I want to make a selection of the border to use on another scrapbook paper.
- Select the Polygon Lasso Tool. It looks like a polygon rope. (or press the L key).
- You will see the Polygon Lasso Tool panel at the bottom of your screen.
- Start at one corner of the object you want to select. Press and release your cursor. Move, but don’t drag to the next corner and press and release your corner. Continue this process until you have outlined your selection.
Magnetic Lasso Tool
This tool works best with objects that stand out from the background, as it snaps to edges to create the selection. I find this the most difficult of the Lasso Tool Set to use, but you may have better luck with it than I do. For your practice selection, pick an easy to define object that stands out from the background.
- Open the image that you want to use to create your selection. I have chosen a photo of a lily from my garden.
- Select the Magnetic Lasso Tool (or press the L key).
- You will see the Magnetic Lasso Tool panel at the bottom of your screen.
- Zoom into your image, in order to see the edges clearly. With a steady hand, press your mouse button once on the edge you want to define. Continue moving your cursor around the edges of your desired selection. When you come to a curve, click the mouse to create a fastening point and then continue dragging. The Magnetic Lasso “senses” the edges as you move your mouse.
- Continue this process, until you return to your starting point. For this tool, the Edit>Undo feature is my friend.
Great Job! You have now learned how to use 5 tools in this section. We will continue adding to your skill set in order to assist you in becoming an Awesome Digital Scrapbooker.
Let’s explore some more tools available to us. The more you understand how to use the tools and other features offered in Photoshop Elements, the better the digital scrapbooker you will become.
Magic Wand Tool
Applying the Magic Wand Tool provides you with another option for creating selections. It can be a little temperamental, but useful in its own way. It is good for selecting objects that are irregular in size, but mainly of the same color.
- Open the file that you want to use to create your selection. I have chosen another flower picture from my garden.
- Select the Magnetic Wand Tool (or press the A key).
- You will see the Magic Wand Tool panel at the bottom of your screen. Notice the Tolerance Setting. This is very important to use in order to create your desired selection.
- Setting Tolerance at 0, selects only 1 color
- Setting Tolerance at 255, select all colors, or the entire image.
- When you select a tolerance such as 40, Photoshop Elements looks for colors that 20 brightness levels higher and 20 brightness levels lower. (Tolerance divided by 2, and then added and subtracted.
- Experiment with Tolerance until you get the feel for it.
- Click the Magic Wand Tool at a location that is mid-range in color for the selection that you want to create. That way Tolerance will “look” for higher and lower brightness levels as discussed above.
- Continue Clicking the Magic Wand Tool, until you have your selection created.
- Tip: Once I have my selection created, I change to the Move Tool and move the selection to make sure that I selected all of the pixels that I want to use. Once you are satisfied, your selection is ready to use.
You now have the selection tools in your arsenal. Have fun creating your scrapbook pages.
Let’s Get Scrapping!