Paint with the Quick Selection Tool in Photoshop Elements 10 - dummies

Paint with the Quick Selection Tool in Photoshop Elements 10

By Barbara Obermeier, Ted Padova

Think of the Quick Selection tool as a combination Brush, Magic Wand, and Lasso tool. Good news — it lives up to its “quick” moniker. Better news — it’s also easy to use. The best news? It gives pretty decent results, so give it a whirl.

Here’s how to make short work of selecting with this tool:

  1. Select the Quick Selection tool from the Tools panel.

    The tool looks like a wand with a marquee around the end. It shares the same flyout menu with the Selection Brush tool. You can also press the A key. Press Shift+A if the Selection Brush is visible.

    This tool works in either Full Photo Edit or Quick Photo Edit mode.

  2. Specify the options on the Options bar.

    Here’s a description of the options:

    • New Selection. The default option enables you to create a new selection. There are also options to add to and subtract from your selection.

    • Brush Picker. Choose your desired brush settings. Specify the diameter, from 1 to 2,500 pixels. You can also specify hardness, spacing, angle, and roundness settings.

    • Sample All Layers. If your image has layers and you want to make a selection from all the layers, select this option. If you leave it deselected, you will select only from the current layer.

    • Auto-Enhance. Select this option to have Elements automatically refine your selection by implementing an algorithm.

  3. Drag, or paint, the desired areas of your image.

    Your selection grows as you drag. If you stop dragging and click in another portion of your image, your selection includes that clicked area.


  4. Add to or delete from your selection, as desired:

    • To add to your selection, press the Shift key while dragging across your desired image areas.

    • To delete from your selection, press the Alt (Option on the Macintosh) key while dragging across your unwanted image areas.

    You can also select the Add to Selection and Subtract from Selection options on the Options bar.

  5. If you need to fine-tune your selection, click the Refine Edge option on the Options bar and then change the settings, as desired.

    Note that if your object is fairly detailed, you may even need to break out the Lasso or another selection tool to make some final cleanups. Eventually, you should arrive at a selection you’re happy with.