How to select something in photoshop?

How to select something in photoshop?

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In Photoshop, selecting specific elements or areas is a fundamental skill that allows users to make precise edits, apply effects, or manipulate images. Whether you are a beginner or an experienced user, understanding how to select something in Photoshop is essential. This article will guide you through the various selection tools and techniques available, helping you make accurate and efficient selections for your editing needs.

Selection Tools in Photoshop

Photoshop offers a range of selection tools, each designed for different purposes. Familiarizing yourself with these tools will enable you to select elements with precision and ease. Here are some of the key selection tools in Photoshop:

1. Marquee Tools: The Marquee tools allow you to create rectangular, elliptical, or single row/column selections. To use these tools, simply click and drag the cursor over the area you want to select. Pressing the Shift key while using the Marquee tools allows you to add to an existing selection, while the Alt/Option key subtracts from the selection.

2. Lasso Tools: The Lasso tools provide freehand selection capabilities. The three types of Lasso tools are the Lasso, Polygonal Lasso, and Magnetic Lasso. The Lasso tool allows you to draw selections freely, while the Polygonal Lasso tool lets you create straight-edged selections by clicking at specific points. The Magnetic Lasso tool automatically snaps to the edges of objects, making it useful for selecting irregular shapes.

3. Magic Wand Tool: The Magic Wand tool selects pixels based on their color and tone similarity. By clicking on an area, the tool selects all adjacent pixels that share similar characteristics. You can adjust the tool’s tolerance to refine the selection.

4. Quick Selection Tool: The Quick Selection tool is excellent for making selections based on contrast and similarity. Simply brush over the area you want to select, and Photoshop intelligently detects and expands the selection based on the visual information.

5. Select Subject: Introduced in recent versions of Photoshop, the Select Subject feature uses machine learning to automatically detect and select the main subject in an image. It is a quick and convenient way to make initial selections, especially for complex images.

Refining Selections

While the selection tools mentioned above are powerful, they may not always produce perfect selections. Fortunately, Photoshop provides several techniques to refine and modify selections for greater accuracy:

1. Select and Mask: Select and Mask is a dedicated workspace in Photoshop that offers advanced tools for refining selections. It provides options like edge detection, feathering, and smoothing to enhance the selection’s quality and blend it seamlessly with the image.

2. Quick Mask Mode: Quick Mask Mode allows you to paint directly on the image to create or modify selections. By entering Quick Mask Mode (press Q), you can use brushes to paint areas you want to select or deselect. Exiting Quick Mask Mode (press Q again) converts the painted areas into a selection.

3. Refine Edge: The Refine Edge dialog box provides additional controls for refining selections. It offers features like Edge Detection, Feathering, Contrast, and Smoothness adjustments, which can help you achieve precise and smooth selections, especially around complex edges.


Mastering the art of selecting in Photoshop is crucial for any image editing workflow. By understanding the selection tools available and utilizing the various techniques to refine selections, you can achieve accurate and professional results. Remember to practice and experiment with different tools and methods to become proficient in selecting elements in Photoshop.


– Adobe Photoshop Help:
– Photoshop Selection Tools:
– Photoshop Selection and Masking Techniques: