How to Load Paths as Selections in Photoshop CS6 - dummies

How to Load Paths as Selections in Photoshop CS6

By Barbara Obermeier

In Photoshop CS6, creating a path is often the means to an end — an accurate selection. Therefore, you frequently use the Paths panel to load your path as a selection.

Follow these steps to get the lowdown on how to do just that. Open an image, make a selection by using the Pen tool, and get started:

  1. Select Make Selection from the Paths panel pop-up menu.

    Alternatively, you can also hold down Alt (Option on the Mac) and click the Load Path as Selection icon in the Paths panel.

    To bypass the Make Selection dialog box, simply click the Load Path as Selection icon at the bottom of the Paths panel without holding down the Alt (Option on the Mac) key.

  2. Feather or anti-alias your selection in the Make Selection dialog box.

    You have these options:

    • Feather your selection by entering a pixel value in the Feather Radius box.

    • Leave the feather radius at 0 for a hard-edged selection.

    • My personal recommendation: Select the Anti-Alias option. This option slightly softens the edge of the selection by one pixel so that it doesn’t appear so jagged.

    • If you have no other selections active, the Operation option will default to New Selection. If you happen to have another selection active when you load your current path as a selection, you can choose to add to, subtract from, or intersect with that other selection.

    After the path is made into a selection, it acts like any other selection.

    [Credit: © Image #6293744]
    Credit: © Image #6293744

Here’s a favorite shortcut: To quickly load the path as a selection, select the path and then press Ctrl+Enter (Command+Return on the Mac). You can also Ctrl-click (Command-click on the Mac) your path name in the Paths panel to do the same. Just be aware that you bypass the Make Selection dialog box and its options when you use the shortcuts.