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Feather

Unlike the Feather option in the selection tools, this version affects only the selection that's currently active; it has no effect on future selections. You can't reduce the amount of feathering with this command once it's applied. Therefore, if you apply it once with a setting of 10 and then try it again on the same selection using a setting of 5, it will simply increase the amount again. It's just like blurring an image—each time you blur the image, it becomes more and more blurry.

I prefer using this command instead of entering Feather settings directly into the tool's options bar (where they affect all “new” selections). If you enter these values directly, you might not remember that the setting is turned on days later, when you spend hours trying to select an intricate object. By leaving the tools set at 0, you can quickly press Option-Command-D (Mac) or Alt-Ctrl-D (Windows) to bring up the Feather dialog box and enter a number to feather the selection. Because this affects only the current selection, it can't mess up any future ones (Figures 2.64 and 2.65).


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