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The Select Menu

Much of the Select menu enables you to create or modify selections that you work with. For example, when you make a selection, you can shrink or expand it without redrawing the selection. You can also select multiple layers at one time or select only pixels within a specific color range.

  • All: Create a selection marquee around the entire active layer.

  • Inverse: Starting with a selection around portions of the image, this command inverts it by selecting everything else instead.

  • All Layers: Select all layers in the Layers palette when you need to move or change everything at once.

  • Similar Layers: Photoshop sees similar content in multiple layers and tries to select just those that are similar in case you need to apply a change to all of them or delete them collectively. For example, if you have a document with four shape layers and two raster image layers, selecting one shape layer and choosing Select, Similar Layers, Photoshop selects all the shape layers for you and leaves the raster layers unselected.

  • Color Range: Sample a color in your document and then you can use this function to select that color throughout that layer so you can modify it or cut out portions with that color (see Figure 4.13). This works well with subjects in front of blue screens for cutting them out.

    Figure 4.13. Use the Color Range command to get more control over your selection than the Magic Wand tool. Adjust the Fuzziness slider and move the eyedropper around the preview area.

  • Feather: After you make a selection, you can change the sharpness of the edge where the selection border is. Choose a number of pixels to create a feather or fuzzy edge; if you copy or cut out the content within the selection, the feathered edge is revealed.

  • Modify, Smooth, Expand, Contract: After you make a selection, sometimes you need to shrink it, expand it, or smooth it out to get the right portions of the image selected. Use Smooth, Expand, or Contract to make slight modifications to your selections.

  • Load/SaveSelection: Save your temporary selection for use later within the same document. The saved selection is saved as an Alpha channel in the Channels palette. You can load it as a selection.



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