How to Make a Selection with the Lasso Tool in Photoshop Elements

By Barbara Obermeier, Ted Padova

Making a selection with the Lasso tool in Photoshop Elements 11 is basically like tracing an outline around an element on a sheet of paper. To make a selection by using the Lasso tool, follow these steps:

1Select the Lasso tool from the Tools panel.

It’s the tool that looks like a rope — hence the moniker lasso. You can also use the keyboard shortcut by pressing the L key. If the Lasso isn’t visible, press L again to cycle through the various Lasso tools or grab your desired tool from the Tool Options.

2Position the cursor anywhere along the edge of the element you want to select.

The hot spot (the leading point) of the Lasso cursor is the end of the rope. If you need a little visual help, press the Caps Lock key, which switches your cursor to a crosshair.

Zoom in on the image a bit if you need to better see its edges.

3Hold down the mouse button and trace around the element, trying to include only what you want to select.

While you trace, an outline forms that follows the movement of your mouse. Don’t release the mouse button until you complete the selection by closing the loop and returning to your starting point. When you release the mouse button, Elements assumes that you’re done and closes the selection from wherever you release the mouse button to your starting point.

4Continue tracing until you return to your starting point; release the mouse button.

Elements rewards you with a selection border that matches your Lasso path.