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How to Use the Lesser-Used Magic Wand Options in Photoshop CS6

In Photoshop CS6, the most used Magic Wand options are Anti-alias and Refine Edge. But other Magic Wand options can also come in handy. The three remaining options are as follows:

  • Contiguous: When you turn on this option, the Magic Wand tool selects only pixels that are adjacent to each other. If you turn off the option, the Magic Wand tool selects all pixels within the range of tolerance, whether or not they’re adjacent to each other.

  • Sample All Layers: This option is valid only when you have multiple layers in your image. If you have multiple layers and this option is on, the Magic Wand tool selects color from all visible layers. If you turn off this option, the Magic Wand selects colors from the active layer only.

  • Sample Size: Although this option affects the Magic Wand tool, it appears on the Options bar only when you select the Eyedropper tool. Select the Eyedropper tool and, in the Sample Size pop-up menu that appears, select from the following options:

    • Point Sample: Samples just the color of the pixel you clicked.

    • 3 by 3 Average: Averages the color of the pixel you clicked and the surrounding eight pixels.

    • 5 by 5 Average: Averages the color of the pixel you clicked and the surrounding 24 pixels.

    • 11 by 11 Average: Averages the color of the pixel you clicked and the surrounding 120 pixels.

    • 31 by 31 Average: Averages the color of the pixel you clicked and the surrounding 960 pixels.

    • 51 by 51 Average: Averages the color of the pixel you clicked and the surrounding 2,600 pixels.

    • 101 by 101 Average: Averages the color of the pixel you clicked and the surrounding 10,200 pixels.

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