How to Save a Selection as an Alpha Channel in Photoshop CS6

By Barbara Obermeier

One of the great things about alpha channels in Photoshop CS6 is that you can save them and then retrieve them time and time again, which can be especially handy if you’ve taken a lot of time and effort to create the selection. Why reinvent the wheel if you want to select the element again in the future?

After you make the initial selection, saving it is a piece of cake. Follow these steps:

  1. Make a selection in your image.

  2. Choose Select→Save Selection.

    You can also click the Save Selection as Channel button (a circle on a square icon) at the bottom of the Channels panel. A new channel appears with the default name of Alpha 1, bypassing Steps 3 and 4.

  3. Select a destination image in the Document drop-down menu (pop-up menu on the Mac).

    You can select your current image, any other open image that has the same pixel dimensions, or a new image.

  4. Select a destination channel from the Channel drop-down menu (pop-up menu on the Mac).

    You can select a new channel, an existing alpha channel, or a layer mask.

    • If you select New, name the channel.

    • If you select an existing alpha channel or layer mask, select your desired operation: Replace, Add To, Subtract From, or Intersect. These commands add to, subtract from, or intersect your current selection with the existing alpha channel.

  5. Click OK.

    Your alpha channel is complete and appears in the Channels panel.

    [Credit: © Image #14855242]
    Credit: © Image #14855242