You can subtract from an image selection in Photoshop Elements 11. Although the selection tools, such as the Lasso, Quick Selection, and Magic Wand, usually do a fair job of capturing most of a selection, making an extremely accurate selection often requires a degree of modification and cleanup.

Here’s how to subtract from a current selection using the following tools:

  • Using the Lasso or the Rectangular or Elliptical Marquee tool: Hold down the Alt key (Option key on the Mac) and drag around the pixels you want to subtract.

  • Using the Magic Wand and Quick Selection tools: Hold down the Alt key (Option key) and click the area you want to remove.

  • Using the Polygonal Lasso tool: To subtract a straight-sided area, hold down the Alt key (Option key) and click and release around the area.

  • Using the Selection Brush tool: Hold down the Alt key (Option key) and drag.

Here, the frame was first selected by using the Polygonal Lasso tool. The obvious tool of choice — the Rectangular Marquee tool — wasn't used because the frame wasn’t completely straight. To deselect the inside of the frame from the selection, again the Polygonal Lasso tool was used — holding down the Alt key (Option key) and clicking at each corner of the inside of the frame to produce the selection that's shown.

[Credit: ©istockphoto.com/leezsnow Image #4643106 and shauni Image #2008511]
Credit: ©istockphoto.com/leezsnow Image #4643106 and shauni Image #2008511