How to Use Selection Tools and Create Paths in Photoshop CS6

The selection and paths tools are the workhorses of Photoshop CS6. They allow you to capture and isolate pixels so that you can edit or manipulate just a portion of an image.

Marquee tools capture rectangular or elliptical selections, or single rows or columns of pixels. Whereas the lasso tools make freeform selections, the Magic Wand tool creates selections by picking up pixels of similar colors. The Quick Selection tool enables you to “paint” your desired selection. And the Move, Crop, and Perspective Crop tools do just what their names describe — move and crop images.

[Credit: ©iStockphoto.com/Bluberries Image #13821137, ©iStockphoto.com/MariusZBlach Image
Credit: ©iStockphoto.com/Bluberries Image #13821137, ©iStockphoto.com/MariusZBlach Image #15978766

The path tools create and modify vector paths, which are elements comprised of straight and curved segments and anchor points. You can then use these paths as a basis for a selection, to define a shape, or create a mask.

Because of their precision, you may find that using path tools to create a difficult selection usually yields better results than you can achieve with the selection tools.

The Path Selection and Direct Selection tools select your paths and path components after you draw the path.

[Credit: ©iStockphoto.com/RichVintage Image #1890215]
Credit: ©iStockphoto.com/RichVintage Image #1890215
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