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Introduction

Mastering Adobe Photoshop requires skill in many diverse areas. While modifying an image's color, enhancing an old photograph, removing dust and scratches, may require different skills, they have one common thread-selection. Without selection, Photoshop gives you total access to the active document. If you choose to paint a black stroke, select the Paint Brush tool, the color black, and begin painting. Photoshop will let you apply black paint to any portion of the image. Selection is your way to instruct Photoshop what portions of the active document you want to change.

The Marquee tools are considered Photoshop's "good old" selection tools. In fact they've been a part of Photoshop since the early days. Where the marquee tools let you select areas of an image in a structured way (squares, circles, lines), the lasso tools add a bit of freeform selection to the mix. Lasso tools require a certain amount of hand/eye coordination. For example, you can use the lasso tool to create a customized selection area around just about any object in a document, be it an animal, vegetable, or mineral. It just requires a good eye, a steady hand, and a really big mouse pad (I hate it when I run out of mouse pad).


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