Making a Selection in a Digital Image by Using Marquee Tools

Making a selection in your digital image tells your software which pixels to change and which pixels to leave alone. Your editing software probably indicates selection outlines with a blinking, dashed outline. This selection outline is often called a marquee because it looks kind of like the lights of a theater marquee. To get a feel for the Marquee tools, paint a picture’s background by using a selection (these steps use the Photoshop Elements software, but other editing software should be similar):


1Select the Rectangular Marquee for a rectangular frame; select the Elliptical Marquee for a round frame.

Select the shape for which you want to make the selection.

2Make the appropriate changes on the options bar.

Set the Mode control to Normal, select the New Selection icon, and set the Feather value as desired. When using the Elliptical Marquee, turn on the Anti-Aliased check box.


3Drag to enclose the area you want to keep in a selection outline.

The rest of the image will be left out.


4Choose Select→Inverse.

This command reverses the selection outline, as shown in this figure. Now, the background is selected, rather than the area you initially enclosed in the outline.

5Select a background paint color.

In Elements, you can simply press the D key to set the background paint color to white.

6Press the Delete key.

The background is filled with the color you selected.

7Press Ctrl+D (Windows) or command+D (Mac).

This gets rid of the selection outline.