Saving Selections in Adobe Photoshop CS5 - dummies

By Jennifer Smith, Christopher Smith, Fred Gerantabee

The term alpha channel sounds complicated, but it’s simply a saved selection. Depending on the mode you’re in, you already have several channels to contend with. A selection is just an extra channel that you can call on at any time.

To create an alpha channel, follow these steps:

  1. Create a selection that you want to save.

  2. Choose Select→Save Selection.

  3. Name the selection and click OK.

    An additional named channel that contains your selection appears in the Channels panel.

To load a saved selection, follow these steps:

  1. Choose Select→Load Selection.

    The Load Selection dialog box appears.

  2. Select a named channel from the Channel drop-down list.

    If you have an active selection and then choose to load a selection, you have additional options. With an active selection, you can select one of the following options:

    • New Selection: Eliminate the existing selection and create a new selection based on the channel you select.

    • Add to Selection: Add the channel to the existing selection.

    • Subtract from Selection: Subtract the channel from the existing selection.

    • Intersect with Selection: Intersect the channel with the existing selection.

  3. Click OK.

Other Adobe applications, such as InDesign, Illustrator, Premiere, and After Effects, also recognize alpha channels.