February 20, 2015
To load the contents of any layer as a selection based on the opacity of pixels in the layer:
• Command (Mac) / Control (Win) -click on the layer thumbnail on the Layer’s panel.
• Command + Shift (Mac) / Control + Shift (Win) to add additional layers to the selection.
• Option + Command (Mac) / Alt + Control (Win) to subtract additional layers from the selection.
• Option + Command + Shift (Mac) / Alt + Control + Shift (Win) to create the intersection of multiple layers.
February 18, 2015
The Marquee, Lasso, Magic Wand and Quick Selection tools all share some common shortcuts that can help you when making more complex selections:
• Holding the Shift key and dragging with the tool will add to an existing selection.
• Holding the Option (Mac) / Alt (Win) and dragging with the tool will subtract from the original selection.
• Holding the Option + Shift (Mac) / Alt + Shift (Win) and dragging with the tool will produce the intersection of selections.
• Move a selection 1 pixel at a time using the arrow keys. Add the Shift key to move in increments of 10 pixels.
• Holding the Shift key while moving selection or layer using the Move tool will constrain the movement to multiples of 45° (0°, 45°, 90° etc.). Note: add the Shift key after you start moving the selection or layer.
October 14, 2014
In previous versions of Photoshop, if you selected an area of an image that included an edge area and then chose Select >Modify > Feather, the Feather would be added to the entire selection. While this might be desirable in some instances, in the majority of cases, it would be ideal if the feather was only applied within the image (and not to the edges). As a result, in the current version, the engineering team has changed the default behavior so that they feather is not applied at the edge (the canvas bounds) of an image.
In this illustration the Quick Select tool was used to select the clouds.
In this illustration I chose Select > Modify > Feather and entered a feather of 25 with the “Apply Effect at Canvas Bounds” option unchecked. I then added a mask and we can see that the feather softened the transition in the middle of the image but the selection was unaffected along the edges of the canvas.
In this illustration I chose Select > Modify > Feather and entered a feather of 25 with the “Apply Effect at Canvas Bounds” option checked. I then added a mask and we can see that the feather softened the transition in the middle of the image as well as along the edges of the canvas.
This is also true for the following commands:
Select > Modify > Smooth…
Select > Modify > Expand…
Select > Modify > Contract…
Note: the checkbox option will be remembered for each individual selection modification option. The checkbox default is Off on first launch as well as when the Photoshop Preferences are deleted.
October 13, 2014
In previous versions of Photoshop, when the entire document was selected (Select > All), the only available option under the Select > Modify menu was Border (the rest were grayed out). Now, you can choose to Smooth, Contract, Expand and Feather when the entire document is selected.
October 28, 2013
If you have multiple layers and you need to align the content of the layers (left, right or center aligned), you can select those layers in the Layers panel and then, with the Move tool selected, choose the desired alignment option.
In the illustration on the left, all of the circles are on different layers and all of the layers are selected. Then, with the move tool selected, the Align center option was chosen in the Options bar. The circles are aligned based on their locations.
If you want to align the layers to a specific location, use the marquee to select that location and then choose the alignment option.
When a selection is made in the image (the dotted line in the image) and the align option is selected, the circles are aligned to the selection.
October 21, 2013
There were some very useful improvements made to Color Range in Photoshop CC. When choosing to select the Shadows, Midtones or Highlights in your image, there are now controls to modify the range and fuzziness – thus enabling you to be more specific in defining the areas in your image that you want to select based on luminosity values.
As you can see from this example, when selecting the Midtones, you can refine the Range using the sliders.
September 25, 2013
Three really helpful improvements were made in Photoshop CC (v14.1), with regards to anchor point selection:
• Path point selection is no longer retained when switching between layers.
• Clicking on a selected anchor point will select that point and deselect others.
• With anchor points not currently visible on a path, clicking on the location of an anchor point will select that point without any extra clicks.
September 16, 2013
In Photoshop CC, the Photoshop engineers added the ability to use either the Path Selection or Direct Selection tool to drag in the image area and select more than one path – even if the paths were on different layers. Given this feature, customers have since requested they be able to limit the layers that Photoshop allowed drag-selecting shapes from based on whether or not the layer was selected. So now, in Photoshop CC (v14.1), with either the Path Selection and/or Direct Selection tool selected, you can choose between selecting All Layers or Active Layers in the Options bar when drag-selecting paths in the image area.
In addition, using the Keyboard Shortcut editor, under Shortcuts For: Tools you can assign a keyboard shortcut to toggle between the options (Direct Selection Mode Toggle).
Note: Isolation Mode is inactive when in Active Layers mode.
August 15, 2013
In Photoshop CC, you can use the Path Selection or Direct Selection tool to drag in the image area and select more than one path – even if they are on different layers. In previous versions, all of the shapes would have had to have been on the same layer to select them.
February 7, 2013
To load the transparency of a layer or the contents of a Layer Mask as a selection, Command (Mac) / Control (Win) -click on a layer or layer mask thumbnail in the Layers panel. You can then add, subtract or intersect the transparency mask of that layer (or any other layer) to that initial selection by right mouse clicking on the layer thumbnail, or with the following shortcuts:
• Command (Mac) / Control (Win) + Shift to add additional layer and or layer mask to the selection.
• Option-Command (Mac) / Alt-Control (Win) to subtract another layer and or layer mask from the selection.
• Option-Command (Mac) / Alt-Control (Win) + Shift to create the intersection of two layers and or layer masks.
January 11, 2013
In Photoshop CS6, the Marquee, Lasso, and Properties panel support more accurate feather values – including support for multiple decimal place values just like the feather dialog box (Select > Modify > Feather).
June 22, 2012
When adding a mask to a layer in Photoshop, instead of guessing at the size of a feather that should be applied (because we know that the feather amount will vary depending on the resolution of the image and the desired softness of the edge that is being feathered), use the non-destructive Feather option on the Properties panel. To access the mask properties, click on the mask icon on the Properties Panel. Now, you can add a feather to soften an edge yet, if the image is resized or other adjustments need to be made at a later time, the feather can be appropriately adjusted.
And while you’re in the Properties panel, and the focus is on the mask, be sure to check out the non-destructive Density slider to reduce the opacity (density) of the mask.
February 25, 2012
Last week, I had a series of 600 images in a time-lapse series of some clouds moving over a mountain, but I only wanted to use 300 of them to turn into a short video clip in Photoshop. My dilemma was that I needed a quick way to select every other image. I adjusted the thumbnail view so that I could see as many thumbnail icons at one time, and made sure that there were an even number showing in the rows. Then I selected the Painter tool, loaded it with the Flag attribute and swiped from top to bottom along every other column. Once I had flagged every other image, I filtered by flag, chose select all, and then put the 300 images into a collection. Voila!
February 13, 2012
Sometimes it’s easier to make a selection of an object if the contrast between the subject and the background is greater. In order to temporarily add more contrast, try adding an adjustment layer (such as Curves or Levels), and boost the contrast significantly. Then, then make the selection and, when finished, discard the adjustment layer.
December 22, 2011
To deselect all images and only select the one clicked on, click in the gray slidemount area around the photo’s thumbnail in Grid view. Click here for more information about Mastering the Mysterious Multi Select in Lightroom. This video was first published on 2011-02-08.