In Part 1 of our beginner’s guide to Photoshop CS6 tools, we covered the functionalities of the Move and the Marquee tools.
Now in Part 2, we’ll introduce new users to the Lasso tools, Quick Selection, and Magic Wand.
Much like the Marquee tools we covered in part one, the Lasso tool isn’t just one particular tool, but a group of tools.
Let’s start with the Standard Lasso tool, which can be found on the toolbar directly underneath the Marquee set of tools. Or you can use the keyboard shortcut “L.
The Lasso tool provides similar functionality as the Marquee tool, allowing the user to select a portion of the workspace. The difference is, the Lasso tool is a freehand, allowing you to “draw” a line. This gives you the ability to be more specific about the area you want to select and cut, instead of dragging your mouse to set a shape’s starting and end point. Then use the Edit menu to cut or copy it.
Polygonal Lasso Tool
When holding down the Lasso tool icon, a drop menu will appear to select the Polygonal tool.
This tool also allows you to make free-form shapes, but with a series of small, straight lines in the form of a polygon. This tool is useful If you need to cut such a shape, like a stop sign.
For the example below, we used the Lasso tool to outline the table, demonstrating how it could be used for a subject that’s a series of straight lines.
Magnetic Lasso Tool
The Magnetic tool can be found from the same drop-down menu.
This tool lives up to its magnetic name. After drawing an outline around a specific object, the Magnetic Lasso tool will snap around the object in question to select it.
If you have a complex, inorganic shape (such as a house), which needs to be selected and cut, draw a rough line around the house and let the tool’s automatic “magnetic” properties do the rest by perfecting the line like the above image. Then cut the object form the Edit menu as usual.
Quick Selection Tool
The quick selection tool can be found on the toolbar directly beside the Lasso tool. Click the magic wand icon, holding it down to open the drop-down menu and choose the Quick Selection tool. Or use the keyboard shortcut, the “W” key.
By selecting the tool, and then clicking and dragging your mouse, you’re able to select a portion of your workspace and alter that area’s colors. For example, if you have a picture of the sun and wish to increase its size, dragging the Quick Selection tool around its outer edge can distort the colors around it. The tool also has a magnetic effect, since it recognizes borders around objects, making your selection seamless.
Magic Wand Tool
Magic Wand Tool is located in the same drop menu as the Quick Selection tool.
Unlike the Quick Selection tool, the Magic Wand tool enables you to click on a portion of your image, highlighting that area along with any adjacent pixels of the same color.
Using the same sun example, if the sun is all one color, you can select it with one click to edit it.
Tips: For all the above Photoshop CS6’s tools hold down “shift” key to add more selection and hold down “Alt” key to subtract from selection while working.
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Check out an infographic version of this tutorial: