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Chapter 7. The Essential Select Menu

Chapter 7. The Essential Select Menu

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methodofcombiningimagestogetheristochooseSelect>All(Command+A[Ctrl+A])andthenEdit>

Copy(Command+C[Ctrl+C])inonefile,andthenswitchtoanotherfileandchooseEdit>Paste

(Command+V[Ctrl+V])topastethecopiedelementasanewlayerintheactivefile.Ofcourse,

Photoshopoffersotherwaystodothis,andwe’llbecoveringalloftheminmoredetailwhenwegetto

Chapter8,“LayerEssentials.”

AnotheruseforSelectAllistocropoffextraimagedatathatispartofthefilebutdoesnotshowinthe

visibleareaofthedocumentwindow.Inthecreativeprocessofcombiningandmovingimageelements,

oftenlargeportionsofimageshangoverthevisibleedgeoftheimagearea,asshowninthecompositein

FIGURE7.1.Photoshopmaintainsimagedataoutsideoftheedgeofthevisiblecanvasbysupporting

whatAdobecallsbigdata.Thisisagreatfeaturebecauseitletsyoumoveimagecomponentsaround

withoutthefearofhavingthemchoppedoffatthevisibleimageedges.However,adisadvantageofbig

datasupportisthattheextra,unseenimageinformationaddstothefilesize.



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Figure7.1.TheRevealAllcommand(Image>RevealAll)showstheextraimageinformationthatis

maintainedoutsideofthevisibleimagecanvas.

Whenyouhavetheimageelementsplacedinthefinishedcomposition(FIGURE7.2),youcantrimaway

thebigdata,whichwillremovetheextraneousimageinformationandreducethefilesizeofyourlayered

workingfile.



Figure7.2.Bycroppingthefinalcompositiontojustthevisibleelements,thefilesizeisreduced.

SelectAllplaysintothisprocessbyselectingonlythecontentofthevisibleimageareaanddisregarding

anythingyoudon’twantinthefinalcomposition.Tolocateandtrimextraimageinformationthatmaybe

bloatingyourcompositedfilesandslowingdownyourwork,followthesesteps.

1.ChooseImage>RevealAlltoseeimageinformationthatextendsbeyondthevisibleedges.

RevealAllincreasesthecanvassize,whichalsoincreasesthefilesize.

2.PressCommand+Z(Ctrl+Z)toundotheRevealAll.

3.ChooseSelect>AllorpressCommand+A(Ctrl+A).

4.ChooseImage>Croptocropawaytheextraneousinformation.

Inthisexamplethelayeredimagefiledecreasedfrom519MBtoamoremanageable486MBfile.Of

course,ifyouwanttopreservetheflexibilitytorepositionalayeredelementatalatertime,youshould

notcroptheimagetothevisibleboundaryofthedocumentwindow.Italldependsonwhatapproach

worksbestforyourcompositingworkflow.

DeselectandReselect

TheDeselectcommandsimply“turnsoff”ordropstheselection.Todeselecttheactiveselection,press

Command+D(Ctrl+D).WhenusingeithertheRectangularorEllipticalMarqueetoolsortheLassotool,

youcanalsoclickoutsideanactiveselectiontodeselectit.WhenthePolygonalLasso,theMagnetic

Lasso,ortheMagicWandistheactivetool,clickinginsidetheselectionwilldeselectit.Untilyougetto

knowhowthisclicktechniqueworkswiththedifferentselectiontools,youcaneasilycreatethe

unintendedresultofeithermovingaselectionorstartinganewselection.Werecommendpressing

Command+D(Ctrl+D)todeselectaselectionsimplybecauseitismoreefficientandlesspronetoerrors.



Reselectisanotherindispensablecommandthatwillrestorethelastactiveselection.Howmanytimes

haveyoubeenworkingonaselectionandaccidentallydeselecteditor,thinkingyoudidn’tneedit

anymore,deselecteditandkeptworking,onlytorealizethatyouneededthesameselectionagain?Don’t

panic;justchooseSelect>ReselectorpressCommand+Shift+D(Ctrl+Shift+D)toresurrectthelast

selectionyoumade.Thenicethingaboutthiscommandisthatitappliesonlytoaselection,soitisamore

specificwaytoredoaselectionthanusingtheHistorypanel,whichwouldalsoundoanyotherediting

youhaddonesinceyoudeselectedtheselection.

Note

Ifyouthinkyoumightneedtouseaselectionatsomefuturepointintheeditingprocess,itisbestto

saveitasanalphachannel(Select>SaveSelection).Bysavingtheselection,itexists

independentlyofboththeReselectcommandandtheHistorypanel.Evenifyou’renotsurewhether

youwillneeditagain,savingtheselectionwillnotaddtoomuchtothefilesizeandyoucan

alwaysdeletetheunneededalphachannelswhenyou’resureyoudon’tneedthem.Saving

selectionsiscoveredinmoredetaillaterinthischapter.

Inverse

Forsomeimages,thebestwaytomakeaselectionisoftentofirstselecttheoppositeofwhatyouwant,

asaddressedinChapter6,“SelectionFundamentals.”IncombinationwiththeQuickSelectiontoolorthe

MagicWand,choosingSelect>Inverseletsyouquicklyselectobjectsthataresurroundedbysimple

backgrounds.

Forexample,thestatueofasurferinSantaCruz,California(FIGURE7.3),iseasilyselectedbyusing

eithertheQuickSelectiontoolortheMagicWandtoselecttheblueskyandthenchoosingSelect>

Inverse(Command+Shift+I[Ctrl+Shift+I]).



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Figure7.3.Inversingaselectionoftheskyselectsthesurferstatue.

ch7_surfer_statue.jpg

SelectLayers

AlthoughmostoftheSelectmenuoffersoptionsforcreatingandmodifyingselections,inthesecond

sectionofthemenutheuseoftheword“selection”isabitmisleadingbecausethethreecommands

pertaintotheLayerspanelandmakinglayersactiveorinactiveinthepanel,notcreatingselectionsbased

onthelayers.

SelectAllLayersmakesallthelayersintheLayerspanelactive(selected)sothattheyarehighlighted.

Theoneexceptionisthebackgroundlayer,whichhaslimitedfunctionalitywhencomparedtoanyother

typeoflayer.DeselectLayerssimplychangestheLayerspanelsothatnolayersareactive.FindLayersis

newtoPhotoshopCS6andwillactivatetheFindLayersfilterfieldatthetopoftheLayerspanel.This

latteroptioncanbeusefulinafilewithmanylayersandcanhelpyouquicklylocatealayerbyfiltering

theLayerspanelsothatitdisplaysonlycertaintypesoflayers.We’lldiscussthisfeaturemoreinChapter

8.



ColorRange

TheColorRangecommandisoneofthemostusefulandpowerfulselectionmethodsinPhotoshop

becauseitletsyouuseexistingcolorandtonalvaluesintheimagetocreateyourselection.ColorRange



isoftencalled“thesmartMagicWand”becauseitprovidesyouwithgreaterprecisionandcontrol,and

letsyoupreviewtheselectionyouarebuildingaswellasedititbeforeleavingthedialog.BecauseColor

Rangecanworkwithpartiallyselectedpixels,itisverygoodatcreatingselectionsthatmaintainsubtle

colortransitionsalongtheedges.

WhenyouchooseSelect>ColorRange,Photoshopexaminesyourforegroundcolorandreferencesitto

createaninitialselection.IfyouwanttogivetheprogramusefulinformationbeforeaccessingColor

Range,simplyusetheEyedroppertoolandclickontheareayouwanttoselecttoplacethemaincolorof

thatareaintotheforegroundcolorswatch.WhentheColorRangedialogisopen,youcanalsospecify

othercolorsoraddorsubtractcolorsusingtheEyedroppertoolsinthedialog.

Forexample,lookatthedifferencebetweentheinitialColorRangeselectionsinFIGURE7.4and

FIGURE7.5.InFigure7.4,theforegroundcoloristhedefaultblack,andColorRangeselectedthe

darkestpartsoftheimage,whichisn’tveryuseful.InFigure7.5,theredcolorofthedoorwassampled

withtheEyedroppertoolbeforechoosingColorRange,sotheinitialselectionisnowbasedonthatred

color.



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Figure7.4.Withblackastheforegroundcolor,ColorRangeselectstheblacksintheimage.



Figure7.5.BysamplingthecolorofinterestbeforechoosingtheColorRangecommand,inthiscase

theredofthedoor,youstartwithabetterinitialselection.

ToharnessthepowerofColorRange,ithelpstounderstandthecontrolsandoptionsintheColorRange

dialog.Let’stakeacloserlookatthisessentialselectiontool.

ch7_red_door.jpg

SelectingSampledColors

ThethreeeyedroppersintheColorRangedialogareforselecting,adding,andsubtractingcolorsfroma

selection.YoucanusethemdirectlyontheimageinthemaindocumentwindoworwithintheColor

Rangedialogpreview.Mostofthetime,weprefertousetheeyedroppersontheimageandtowatchthe

dialogpreview,whichshowsablack-and-whiterenditionoftheselectionasamask.

FIGURE7.6showstheresultofclickingonthecenterareaofthereddoortomaketheinitialselection

usingthedefaultColorRangeeyedropper.Becausetheentiredoorisnotselected,thepartsofthedoor

thatarenotrepresentedbywhiteintheColorRangepreviewneedtobeaddedtotheselection.Todo

this,youcaneitherusethemiddleeyedropperwiththeplussignorShift-clickontheareasyouwantto

add.Inthereddoorexample,otherreddishareas,suchasthebrownleavesontheshrubsandredflowers

alongthewalkway,havealsobeenselected.Butbecausetheydonotoverlapthedoor,youcaneasily

subtractthemlaterwiththeMarqueeorLassotoolafterclickingOKinColorRange.Youcanalsolimit

theareasthatColorRangewillselectbymakingapre-selection,asdescribedinthenextsection.



Figure7.6.TheinitialColorRangeselection(left)andtheexpandedColorRangeselection(right).

TotakeawayfromaColorRangeselection,Option-click(Alt-click)intheimageandPhotoshopwill

subtractthosecolorsandtonesfromyourselection.Thekeyboardshortcutsforaddingandsubtracting

alsoworkwhenyouaredraggingacrossapartoftheimagewiththeColorRangeeyedroppers.

Tip

IfyoumistakenlyclickonacolorortoneintheColorRangedialogthatyoudon’twantselected,

pressCommand+Z(Ctrl+Z)toundothelastsamplepoint.

ControllingColorRangeFocusandPreviewSize

ThedefaultpreviewintheColorRangedialogshowstheentireimage,whichcanmakeitdifficultto

judgethefinepointsofaselectionmaskifyouaretryingtoselectasmallportionoftheimage.Italso

meansthatotherareasofsimilarcolormaybeaddedtoyourselection,asisthecasewiththeredflowers

andbrownpartsoftheshrubsinthereddoorimage(FIGURE7.7).Toenlargethepreviewsoitshows

onlythepartoftheimageyou’reinterestedin,aswellasrestrictColorRangetoonlycertainareas,make



apre-selectionoftheareawiththeRectangularMarqueetoolbeforechoosingSelect>ColorRange.The

previewwillthenonlyshowthepre-selectedareas,andtheselectionthatColorRangemakeswillignore

anythingoutsidethepre-selectedareas.



Figure7.7.TheinitialColorRangeselectionandthepreviewintheColorRangedialogarebased

ontheentireimage.

1.BeforeusingtheColorRangecommand,selectthereddoorwiththeRectangularMarqueetool.

2.UsethedefaulteyedropperintheColorRangedialogtoselectthereddoor.ThenShift-clickon

thepartsofthedoorthatarenotselectedtoaddthemtotheselection(FIGURE7.8).



Figure7.8.SelectingtheareaaroundthedoorbeforeinvokingtheColorRangecommandfocuses

ColorRangeonthedoor.

3.ClickOKtoaccepttheinitialColorRangeselection(FIGURE7.9).



Figure7.9.ThefinishedColorRangeselectionofthedoor.

Fuzziness

TheColorRangeFuzzinesssettingisoftenequatedwiththeTolerancesettingoftheMagicWand.

Althoughtherearesimilarities,therearealsoveryimportantdifferencesthatmakeColorRangeamore

powerfulselectiontoolthantheMagicWand.LikeTolerance,Fuzzinesscontrolswhetherapixelwillbe

selected.However,Fuzzinessalsocontrolshowmuchofthatpixelisselectedbycontrollingthedegreeto

whichrelatedcolorsareincludedintheselection.KeepinmindthatColorRangecanselectpixelsfully

and,moreimportant,partiallytocreateselectionswithrealisticcolorandtonaltransitions.

FIGURE7.10illustrateshowincreasingtheFuzzinessinincrementsof50changesthetonaltransitionof

theresultingselection,asshowninthegrayscalemask.MakingagoodColorRangeselectionrequires

findingabalancebetweentheFuzzinesssettingandthenumberofcolorsamplesyoutake.Toselectlarge,

generalareasofsimilarcolor,startwithalowFuzzinesssettingandsampleoften.Toselectacolorina

finelydetailedimage,useahigherFuzzinesssetting,becausefinelydetailedareasmostlikelywill

containcolorcontaminationfromadjacentareasoftheimage.



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Chapter 7. The Essential Select Menu

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