73. Draw a Selection Freehand
Before You Begin
70 About Making Selections
72 Select a Rectangular or Circular
74 Select a Straight-Edged Area
75 Select an Object by Tracing Its Edge
77 Paint a Selection
The Lasso tool enables you to create a freehand selection of elements within your image. For example, you can use this tool to draw a border around the head of a person or an animal lying on the ground.
To use the Lasso tool, you drag it around the area you want to select. The process is similar to freehand drawing in that everything you draw the selection around is selected. Intricate shapes can be difficult to trace with the Lasso tool. For more difficult shapes, you might want to use the Magnetic Lasso tool, which automatically snaps to the edges of objects you drag near. See 75 Select an Object by Tracing Its Edge for more information on using the Magnetic Lasso tool.
Select the Lasso 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.
Select the Lasso tool from the Toolbox. The icon for the last Lasso tool you used is the icon displayed in the Toolbox.
You can select the exact tool you want in one step: Click the Lasso tool on the Toolbox, hold the mouse button down and, when the pop-up menu appears, choose the Lasso tool from the list.
Select the Lasso Option
If it's not already selected, select the Lasso tool on the Options bar.
Set the desired options for the Lasso tool on the Options bar such as Anti-aliased or the amount of Feather. Click the New Selection, Add to Selection, Subtract from Selection, or Intersect with Selection button as desired.
Drag the Freehand Selection
Click the location on the image where you want to start your selection. Continue holding down the left mouse button and drag the mouse pointer around the edge of your selection. When you release the mouse button, Photoshop Elements completes the selection by connecting the start and end of your selection. 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.
Make sure that you draw your selection so that it ends at the same point you started. When you release the mouse button, PhotoShop Elements drags a straight line to connect the starting and ending pixels of the selection.
In this example, I drew a wavering line around this lion. Notice that the selection includes a little of the background as well. Had I wanted to select just the lion without any background, I could have used an adjustment layer as described in 71 Make Areas of an Image Easier to Select, and then traced the edge of the lion using the Magnetic Lasso as described in 75 Select an Object by Tracing Its Edge.