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The New Quick Selection Tool In Photoshop CS3

Creating a selection on a photograph or other digital image that has subtle color differences can be very difficult and time consuming. In the new upgrade of PhotoshopR CS3, AdobeR has enhanced the selection tools to help with this problem. New in CS3 is the Quick Selection Tool which can be used alone or with the other selection tools. In this tutorial, we will learn how to use the new Quick Selection Tool. We will be working with a photo that I took several year ago of a group of pumpkins. As you can see, the pumpkins and their background are very similar in color and the task of selecting only one pumpkin will be much easier with this new tool. This tool works much like a paint brush. As you click and drag over the picture, you will "paint a selection".


You will find the Quick Selection Tool nested with the Magic Wand Tool in the Tools Panel.


Once you click on the tool's icon, you can set the controls in the Options bar. Working from left to right on the Options bar, the first area is the Selection Mode. By default, the mode is set to New Selection. This will change to the Add to Selection and Subtract from Selection modes as we work on the photograph.

As mentioned above, this tool works like a paint brush. You can control the brush settings with the drop-down Brush menu. While working, you can use the ] key to increase and the [ key to reduce the brush size.

To the right of the Brush menu are the Sample All Layers and Auto Enhance options. These options are turned off by default. The Sample All Layers will use all the layers of the image when creating the selection. The Auto Enhance option will reduce rough edges in the selection.


1. Our first step is to place the mouse pointer over the pumpkin that we wish to select. As we do, the cursor will change to a circle with a plus sign which indicates that we are in the New Selection mode. Click and drag on the center of the pumpkin. As you drag, you will notice that the selection area expands to include most of the pumpkin.

2. We didn't select the entire pumpkin with the first try. So let's go back and continue to work on our selection. For our initial step, the Selection Mode was set to New Selection. Now, the mode has automatically changed to Add to Selection. Click and drag on a part of the pumpkin that was not selected before and it will be added to the active selection.

3. The tool did a very good job considering how similar the colors are in our photograph. But we did select a small area at the bottom of the pumpkin that we do not want included. Let's subtract this area from our selection. We can toggle between the Add to Selection and Subtract from Selection modes by pressing the Alt key on our keyboard. When you press the Alt key, you will notice that the cursor changes to a circle with a minus sign. Place you cursor over the area that we wish to remove from the selection. As you click and drag over this area, the active selection will be altered to omit this area.




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