72. Select a Rectangular or Circular Area
Before You Begin
70 About Making Selections
73 Draw a Selection Freehand
74 Select a Straight-Edged Area
78 Expand or Shrink a Selection
You can use the Marquee Selection tools to select any rectangular or elliptical area in an image. You can select between the two shapes of marquees in the Options bar. Typically, these selection tools are used to specify the portion of the image that you want to cut or crop. Because the shapes they select are prescribed, these selection tools are rarely used to make organic, curved selections for the purpose of adjusting colors or highlighting objects. See 75 Select an Object by Tracing Its Edge for tips on selecting curved shapes.
Select the Marquee Tool
Open an image in the Editor in Standard Edit mode and save it in Photoshop (*.psd) format. In the Layers palette, click the layer that contains the data you want to select.
Click the Marquee Selection tool on the Toolbox.
Select the Tool Shape
On the Options bar, click the Rectangular Marquee tool button to create a rectangle-shaped selection area or click the Elliptical Marquee tool to create an oval area.
You will see either the Rectangular Marquee icon or Elliptical Marquee icon on the Toolbox. PhotoShop Elements remembers the last Marquee tool you used and displays it in the Toolbox.
You can select the exact tool you want in one step: Click the Marquee Selection tool, hold the mouse button down and, when the pop-up menu appears, choose either the Rectangular Marquee or Elliptical Marquee tool from the list.
When you select the Elliptical Marquee tool, Photoshop Elements automatically enables the Anti-Aliased option in the Options bar. This ensures that the edges around the selection are rounded and not jagged looking.
Set the desired options for the Marquee tool on the Options bar, such as the amount of Feather. Click the New Selection, Add to Selection, Subtract from Selection, or Intersect with Selection button as desired.
The default Mode setting is Normal, meaning that the selection size is based on how you drag it. If you want to create a selection of a specific size, select the Fixed Size option from the Mode drop-down list. With this option selected, you must then specify the size of the selection by providing the width and height in pixels, inches, or centimeters. You can also set a specific height-to-width ratio by selecting the Fixed Aspect Ratio mode.
Drag the Marquee Selection
With the left mouse button, click the location on the image where you want to start the selection, hold down the mouse button, and drag to expand the selection to the desired size. If you've set a Fixed Size, just click and do not drag.
If you want to create a perfectly square or circular selection instead of a rectangular or elliptical selection, press and hold the Shift key as you drag to create the selection.
To select a circle from the center out, press Alt+Shift as you drag.
In this example, you can see that I've dragged a rectangular selection around the meerkat. Make changes to the area within the selection, copy or cut it to another image or layer, or delete the data. After you're satisfied with the result, make any other changes you want and then save the PSD file. Resave the result in JPEG or TIFF format, leaving your PSD image with its layers (if any) intact so that you can return at a later time and make different adjustments if you want.