Rectangular and Elliptical Selections in Photoshop Elements 10

By Barbara Obermeier, Ted Padova

If you can drag a mouse, you can master the Rectangular and Elliptical Marquee tools. These are the easiest selection tools to use, so if your desired element is rectangular or elliptical, by all means, grab one of these tools.

The Rectangular Marquee tool, as its moniker states, is designed to define rectangular or square selections. This tool is great to use if you want to home in on the pertinent portion of your photo and eliminate unnecessary background.

The Elliptical Marquee tool, which shares the same flyout menu as the Rectangular Marquee tool, is designed for elliptical or circular selections. This tool is perfect for selecting balloons, clocks, and other rotund elements.

Here’s how to make selections with these tools:

1Select the Rectangular Marquee tool from the Tools panel.

It looks like a dotted square. You can also press M to access the tool. If it isn’t visible, press Shift+M.

2Drag from one corner of the area you want to select to the opposite corner.

While you drag, the selection border appears. The marquee follows the movement of your mouse cursor.

3Release your mouse button.

You now have a completed rectangular selection.

4Select the Elliptical Marquee tool from the Marquee flyout menu on the Tools panel.

It looks like a dotted ellipse. You can also press M to access this tool, if it’s visible. If it isn’t, press Shift+M.

5Position the crosshair near the area you want to select and then drag around your desired element.

With this tool, you drag from a given point on the ellipse. While you drag, the selection border appears.

6When you’re satisfied with your selection, release the mouse button.

Your elliptical selection is created. If your selection isn’t quite centered around your element, simply move the selection border by dragging inside the border.