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Q1:What is feathering?
A1: Feathering softens the edges of a selection.A Feather of 0 pixels means the selection has a hard, sharp edge, while a Feather of 5 pixels will have softer edges. The higher the number, the softer the effect.
Q2:How do I set the feathering for a selection?
A2: Before you make a selection, change the Feather amount in the Options Bar; after you've made a selection, from the Select menu choose Feather; or Control-click (PC: Right-click) and choose Feather from the contextual menu.

Note: You can only add more feathering with the Select>Feather command, not reduce feathering by entering a lower number.

Q3:How do I know how much feathering to use? I can't really see the effects of feathering until several steps later. Is there another way to make a feathered selection so I can predict what the feathering will look like?
A3: Here's a possible solution: Make a selection with no feathering and then inverse the selection (Select>Inverse). Press Q to enter Quick Mask mode. You'll see a red overlay that represents your selection. Now use the Gaussian Blur filter (Filter>Blur) to try different blur settings. This gives the same result as a feathered selection, but with a little more interaction and prediction of the final result.
Q4:Is it possible to reduce the amount of feathering?

A4: Short of deselecting and starting over again, the only other way that might help is to change to Quick Mask (by pressing Q), go to Image>Adjustments>Adjust Brightness/Contrast, and play around with the Contrast slider by dragging it to the right to increase it. As you do, the softness of the mask will change.
Q5:Is it possible to remove feathering from a selection?
A5: Press Q to change to Quick Mask mode. Then use Image>Adjustments>Brightness/Contrast and increase the Contrast to around +98. The feathering will be removed, but the roundnesswill remain. Otherwise, you would have to deselect (Command-D [PC: Control-D]), change the feathering option for your selection tool, and re-create the selection.
Q6:Why do my selection tools always have feathering? Sometimes, when I go to use my selection tools, some feathering appears. Why does that only happen sometimes?
A6: Remember, Photoshop has a long memory for tool settings. So if you changed the Feather amount in the Options Bar for a tool and left it at that setting, that will be the “default” setting for the tool until you change it. You can avoid that in a number of ways:
  1. Always check the Feather option before you use a tool.

  2. Always put the Feather amount back to 0 pixels in the Options Bar after using the tool.

  3. Don't change the Feather for the tool in the Options Bar; instead, add feathering after making the selection by Control-clicking (PC: Right-clicking) within the selection and choosing Feather. (This way you are not changing the default amount.)

  4. Create a couple of different tool presets: one with feathering, one without.

Q7:Is there a quick way to add more feathering?

A7: With an active selection, Control-click (PC: Right-click) and from the contextual menu choose Feather. Enter an amount in the resulting dialog and click OK. (This is a great alternative to entering a Feather amount in the Options Bar, which changes your default setting for that tool. This way, you leave the default at 0 pixels and add feathering as necessary.)



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