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Part 3. Selection Techniques > Task 3 How to Select by Color Range

Task 3 How to Select by Color Range

When the area you want to select is predominantly one color, try using the color range as a selection criterion. This approach selects all the pixels in an image based on a specified color value. The color range controls let you designate the exact range so you can fine-tune the selection to a specific set of colors.

1. Open the File

Select File, Open to launch the desired file, or click the Go to Bridge icon in the Options bar to open Bridge and then double-click the image thumbnail to launch it.

2. Select the Color Range Command

Choose Select, Color Range to launch the Color Range dialog box.

3. Configure the Dialog Box

Click the arrow to the right of the Select field to access the menu and drag to select Sampled Colors. Start with the Fuzziness slider set to 40, enable the Selection radio button, and set the Selection Preview option to None.

4. Sample a Color

Move the mouse pointer onto the image; notice that the pointer changes to an eyedropper as it moves over the image. Click the color you want to select. In this example, I clicked to select the yellow petal color. The preview in the dialog box shows how much of the image has that color. You can control how much variation of that color is selected by adjusting the Fuzziness slider.

5. Adjust the Fuzziness Slider

Increase or decrease the Fuzziness slider to include more or less of the color in the selection. If desired, you can select the Black Matte and White Matte options in the Selection Preview list in the Color Range dialog box to evaluate the selection area. See the How-To Hints for details on how and when to use the preview options.

6. Add Additional Colors

Select the Plus Eyedropper from the dialog box and click the image to add more colors to the selected range. Select the Minus Eyedropper and click the image to remove colors from the selected range. Click OK to close the dialog box and make the selection. If the selection is not to your satisfaction, adjust the Fuzziness slider and try again.

How-To Hints

Image Previews

To check the selection in more detail, either select Grayscale, Black Matte, White Matte or select Quick Mask from the Selection Preview drop-down list to show the selection results in the main image window. Grayscale shows selected areas in white and unselected areas in black, whereas Black Matte shows selected areas as normal and unselected areas as flat black. White Matte shows selected areas as normal and unselected areas as white. Quick Mask places a mask over the selected or unselected areas, depending on how the Quick Mask Options are set (see the following task for details). To select all of a particular color or tonal range in an image, select the desired color from the Select drop-down list. You also can select Out of Gamut to show which colors would be lost in an RGB-to-CMYK file conversion.

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