Modify Commands in Photoshop Elements 10

By Barbara Obermeier, Ted Padova

You can use the Select menu commands to further modify selections by expanding, contracting, smoothing, softening, growing, and grabbing similarly colored pixels. Although the commands on the Modify submenu definitely won’t win any popularity contests, they may occasionally come in handy.

Here’s the scoop on each command:

  • Border. Selects the area, from 1 to 200 pixels, around the edge of the selection border. By choosing Edit→Fill Selection, you can fill the border with color.

  • Smooth. Rounds off any jagged, raggedy edges. Enter a value from 1 to 100 pixels, and Elements looks at each selected pixel and then includes or deselects the pixels in your selection based on your chosen value. Start with a low number, like 1, 2, or 3 pixels. Otherwise, it may make your selection less accurate.

  • Expand. Enables you to increase the size of your selection by a given number of pixels, from 1 to 100. This command is especially useful if you just barely missed getting the edge of an elliptical selection and need it to be a little larger.

  • Contract. Decreases your selection border by 1 to 100 pixels. When you’re compositing multiple images, you often benefit by slightly contracting your selection if you plan on applying a feather. That way, you avoid picking up a fringe of background pixels around your selection.