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Chapter 8. Selections and Channels: Path... > Anti-Aliasing and Feathering

Anti-Aliasing and Feathering

If you've ever been in a minor car accident and later talked to an insurance adjuster, you've probably been confronted with their idea that you may not be fully blameless or at fault in the accident. And, just as you can be 25-percent or 50-percent at fault, you can partially select pixels in Photoshop. One of the most common partial selections is around the edges of a selection. And the two most common ways of partially selecting the edges are anti-aliasing and feathering.

Anti-Aliasing

If you use the Marquee tool to select a rectangle, the edges of the selection are nice and crisp, which is probably how you want them. Crisp edges around an oval or nonregular shape, however, are rarely a desired effect. That's because of the stair-stepping required to make a diagonal or curve out of square pixels. What you really want (usually) is partially selected pixels in the notches between the fully selected pixels. This technique is called anti-aliasing.


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