How to Subtract from Selections in Photoshop Elements 11

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
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