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How to Select and Erase by Color in Photoshop Elements 11

The Magic Eraser tool in Photoshop Elements 11 works like a combination Eraser and Magic Wand tool. It selects and erases similarly colored pixels simultaneously. Here’s how it works:

  • When you click a layer: The Magic Eraser tool erases pixels of a similar color based on a specified range and leaves the area transparent.

  • When you click the background: The Magic Eraser tool automatically converts the background to a layer and then does the same pixel-erasing thing.

  • When you click a layer with locked transparency: The Magic Eraser tool erases the pixels and replaces the area with the background color.

    [Credit: ©Bob Woerner]
    Credit: ©Bob Woerner

Here are the options for using the Magic Eraser tool:

  • Tolerance: Defines the range of colors that Elements erases, just as it does with the Magic Wand tool. The value determines how similar a neighboring color has to be to the color you click. A higher value picks up more colors, whereas a lower value picks up fewer colors.

  • Anti-aliasing: Creates a slightly soft edge around the transparent area.

  • Contiguous: Selects only similar colors that are adjacent to each other. Deselect this option to select and then delete similarly colored pixels wherever they appear in your image.

  • Sample All Layers: Samples colors using data from all visible layers, but erases pixels on only the active layer.

  • Opacity: Works like it does for the regular Eraser tool, described in the previous section.

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