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How to Make Selections with Photoshop [2/2]

In the previous post we look at how to make basic selections with manual selection tools like the Rectangular Marquee, and “smart” selection tools like the Magic Wand.

But if you’ve done any work with selections you’ll have discovered that however smart the tools are, they don’t always work as expected. When I first used Photoshop I was sorely disappointed that the Magic Wand often didn’t make the selection I wanted. Why didn’t it understand what I wanted and just make the selection?

The game changer for me was learning that you can combine selections. The first selection, it turns out, is just the start. You can add selections together, subtract them from each other – and you can do it with any combination of Photoshop's selection tools. 

You’ll learn this great technique in the video below.

How to Make Selections with Photoshop [1/2]

At its most basic, making a selection in Photoshop is simply about choosing the best tool. So if what you’re trying to select is square or rectangular, use the Rectangular Marquee Tool. If it’s non-rectangular but has still got straight edges, use the Polygonal Lasoo Tool instead.

Watch the video below to see how simple it is to make a dramatic change to a photo, simply using these selection tools.

Some of Photoshop’s selection tools require you to do all of the work, and some of them try and assist you. The two main tools in this category are the Magic Wand and the Quick Selection Tool. Both of these work well when there is obvious contrast between what you want to select and what you don’t. They both work in similar ways – in the video below you’ll see the strengths of each tool and the sort of images they can help with. 

Next week we'll look at how to create more difficult selections by combining them...