84. Save a Selection for Reuse
Before You Begin
70 About Making Selections
85 Reload a Previously Saved Selection
86 About Copying, Cutting, and Pasting Data Within a Selection
If you think you might want to work with a selection again later, you can save the selection. When you save a selection, the Editor remembers the exact position and shape of the selection marquee, and whether it had any feathering, anti-aliasing, or smoothing at its edges. You might want to save a selection you've worked hard at making, just in case you need it later on during editingeven after you've closed the image or selected something else. Saved selections are also useful for creating masks, frames, or for making the same-shaped selection in several images.
After you save a selection, you can reload it at any time, from within the image where you saved it. You can reload the saved selection to the same layer or to another layer. You can even add or subtract the saved selection from a current selection, creating a complex selection such as an oval frame. You build complex selections like these by making the outer selection, saving it, shrinking the selection, and subtracting this modified selection (the "hole") from the first selection ("the outer border"), leaving a selection "rim." See 85 Reload a Previously Saved Selection for more information on loading saved selections.
You can reload a selection only from the image in which it was saved, but after it is reloaded, you can move the selection to another image if you need it for your work there. See 81 Move the Selection Marquee.
A selection can be used to select pixels on the current layer only, unless you create the selection using the Magic Wand tool and its Use All Layers option.
Make the Selection
Open an image in the Editor in Standard Edit mode and save it in Photoshop (*.psd) format. Use any of the selection tools to create your selection. When the selection is perfect, save it so that you can recall it again whenever you might need it in your work.
Save the Selection
Choose Select, Save Selection to display the Save Selection dialog box.
Name the Selection
In the Save Selection dialog box, choose New from the Selection drop-down list. In the Name field, type the name you want to assign to the selection. You can use any combination of characters to name the selection, but the selection name cannot be longer than 32 characters. Click OK to save the selection to the image's alpha channel.
You can save multiple selections within the same image. To save a selection in an image, the image must be saved in PSD, TIFF, or JP2 format.
After you've saved the selection, you can keep on working as usual. For example, you could make changes to the area within the selection, copy or cut its data to another image or layer, or delete the data within the selection. You can make other changes and even make another selection without fear of losing the original saved selection, which can be recalled when needed. When you're satisfied with all your changes, save the PSD image. Resave the result in JPEG or TIFF format, leaving your PSD image with its layers (if any) and selections intact so that you can return at a later time and make different adjustments if you want.
After working for a few minutes to select the zebra closest to the car, I decided I should save it. Next, I'll select the other zebra and then reload this selection so that both zebras are selected. At that point, I can improve the contrast and tone of both zebras, and sharpen them a bit. By sharpening just the zebras, I can make them the central focus of my photo. I'll probably also blur everything else just slightly by inverting the selection and applying a light blur.
You can modify an existing selection by making a selection and redisplaying the Save Selection dialog box. Select the name of the existing selection from the Selection drop-down list and then select the desired type of modification from the Operation area and click OK. For example, if you choose the Add to Selection operation, the current selection is added to the saved selection you chose from the Selection