How to Save Time with the Quick Selection Tool in Photoshop CS6

To save time in Photoshop CS6, Adobe has a great tool, the Quick Selection Tool. Think of it as a combo Brush, Magic Wand, Lasso tool. Easy to use — with surprisingly good results — it’s sure to become part of your selection arsenal.

To make short work of selecting by using this tool, follow these steps:

  1. Select the Quick Selection tool from the Tools panel.

    The tool looks like a wand with a marquee around the end. It shares the Magic Wand tool’s flyout menu. You can also press the W key, and then press Shift+W until you get the tool.

  2. If you’re making a new selection, be sure that the selection option is set to New Selection or Add to Selection on the Options bar.

  3. Select your desired brush settings from the Brush picker on the Options bar.

  4. If your image has layers and you want to make a selection from all the layers, select the Sample All Layers option.

    If you leave this option unselected, you select only from the current layer.

  5. Select the Auto-Enhance option to have Photoshop assist you by automatically refining your selection by implementing an algorithm.

  6. Click and drag over the desired areas of your image.

    Your selection grows while you drag.

    If you stop dragging and click in another portion of your image, your selection includes that clicked area.

    [Credit: ©iStockphoto.com/shironosov Image #13814477]
    Credit: ©iStockphoto.com/shironosov Image #13814477
  7. Change your selection as needed.

    You have three options to change your selection:

    • To add to your selection, hold down the Shift key while dragging across your desired image areas. (If the Add to Selection option is selected on the Options bar, you don’t have to hold down the Shift key.)

    • To delete from your selection, press the Alt (Option on the Mac) key while dragging across your unwanted image areas.

    • You can also select the Add to Selection and Subtract from Selection options on the Options bar.

  8. If you need to further fine-tune your selection, click the Refine Edges option on the Options bar.

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