Using the Selection Tools

Selections are essential for creating and manipulating digital images, and Paint Shop Pro provides a number of tools for making selections. From the Tool palette, you can select one of three selection tools:

  • The Selection tool

  • The Freehand tool

  • The Magic Wand tool

Each of these tools is discussed in the following sections.

The Selection Tool

The Selection tool enables you to make selections using different shapes. After choosing the Selection tool, you can set the desired shape in the Tool Options window. You can choose from a rectangle, a square, an ellipse, a circle, and many other shapes. Using the Selection tool is similar to using the Preset Shapes tool.

To try out the Selection tool, open a new 500x500 image at 72dpi with the background set to white, and then follow these steps:

  1. Select the Selection tool.

  2. In the Tool Options window, set the shape to Rectangle. For the moment, ignore the Feather value and the Antialias check box.

  3. Place the mouse cursor in the upper-left corner of the image, and click and drag toward the lower-right corner of the image.

    As you drag the mouse, you'll see an outline of a rectangle. When you release the mouse, however, the rectangle becomes a marquee (see Figure 35.1). Some people refer to this marquee as " marching ants " because of the movement.

    Figure 35.1. A rectangular selection.


  4. To clear the selection, either choose Selections, Select None or click anywhere outside the marquee area.

Try making a couple of selections using the other shapes. If you forget to remove one selection before making another, the first selection disappears. Later in this chapter you'll see how you can keep any current selection and either add to it or subtract from it. You'll also learn how to modify the selection.

The Freehand Tool

The second selection tool is the Freehand tool. You can use the Freehand tool to draw freehand selections. Doing so enables you to isolate irregular-shaped areas of an image.

To see how this tool works, clear any other selections you still have active by choosing Selections, Select None. Select the Freehand tool and click and drag it around the image as if you were drawing a doodle.

As you draw, you'll see a line being drawn by the tool. When you release the mouse button, the line turns into a marquee, and a straight line may join the starting and ending points if they are far enough apart (see Figure 35.2).

Figure 35.2. A Freehand tool selection.


The Freehand tool has several settings available from the Tool Options window, as well. You can draw freehand as you did in the previous example. You can also make point to point or Smart Edge selections.

Point to point enables you to draw polygonal selections. To do so, select the Freehand tool and set the Selection Type option to Point to Point in the Tool Options window.

Move the mouse cursor into the image and click. Move the mouse again and click once more. As you continue to move and click, you'll see lines being drawn between the points you click. To finish the selection, simply double-click. You should end up with a polygonal selection (see Figure 35.3).

Figure 35.3. A polygonal selection.


The third option for the Freehand tool is the Smart Edge. With the Smart Edge option, Paint Shop Pro can help you make difficult selections along the edges of contrasting areas. To see how this option works, clear any current selections you have by choosing Selections, Select None. Then follow these steps:

  1. Select the Preset Shapes tool and set the Style to Filled in the Tool Options window. Draw a circle in the upper-right corner of the image. Change the shape to a rectangle and draw a rectangle below and to the right of the circle (see Figure 35.4).

    Figure 35.4. A circle and a rectangle drawn with the Preset Shapes tool.


    If you're not sure how to complete these steps, refer to Chapter 34, "Creating Your First Image."

  2. With the shapes drawn, select the Freehand tool and set the Selection Type option to Smart Edge in the Tool Options window.

  3. Move the mouse cursor to a point along the bottom-left of the circle.

  4. Click and drag the mouse toward the rectangle. As you drag, you'll see a bounding box (see Figure 35.5). When you get to the point where you're just overlapping the rectangle, as shown in Figure 35.5, release the mouse button.

    Figure 35.5. A bounding box highlights the edge that the Smart Edge is selecting.


  5. Click the mouse again without moving it and then move the mouse to the lower-left corner of the rectangle.

  6. Double-click the mouse; you should end up with a selection like the one in Figure 35.6.

    Figure 35.6. A completed selection along the lower left of the circle and the rectangle drawn with the Smart Edge Freehand tool.


Although this powerful tool is a bit difficult to work with at first, it is worth learning. The Smart Edge option of the Freehand tool enables you to make selections around areas that might otherwise be impossible .

The Magic Wand Tool

You can use the Magic Wand tool to select areas of an image based on the RGB value, hue, or brightness. You can set the Tolerance level to select more or fewer pixels, based on the relative values. The Magic Wand tool is quite easy to use. You simply select it, set the options, and click on a portion of the image that you want selected.

To try this tool, open a new 500x500 image at 72dpi with the background set to white and follow these steps:

  1. Draw a filled rectangle in one color (I used a pale blue) and a filled circle in a very different color (I used red). Make the shapes overlap, as shown in Figure 35.7.

    Figure 35.7. A circle and a rectangle drawn with the Shapes tool.


  2. Select the Magic Wand tool.

  3. In the Tool Options window, set the Match Mode option to RGB and the Tolerance option to 10.

  4. Click the circle. The circle should be outlined by a selection marquee. The marquee means that the circle has been selected. Nothing else has been selected, though, only the circle.

Only the circle is selected because it is red, the rectangle is blue, and the background is white. If the overlapping rectangle were a shade of red that closely matched the red of the circle and the Tolerance was high enough, the rectangle would be selected also.

The Magic Wand tool doesn't care about the shapes of the areas it's selecting; it bases its selections on the Match Mode and Tolerance settings.


You might have noticed a Sample Merged check box in the Controls palette for some of the selection tools. When checked, this option allows selections to be made throughout all the layers of an image.

You can also make and adjust selections using the Selections menu. From the Selections menu you can choose

  • Select All (Ctrl+A), which selects the entire image.

  • Select None (Ctrl+D), which deselects the current selection.

  • From Mask (Shift+Ctrl+S), which makes a selection based on the current mask.

  • Invert (Shift+Ctrl+I), which inverts the selection. If you still have the circle selected from the previous section and you choose Selections, Invert, everything but the circle is selected. If you choose Selections, Invert again, the circle is reselected. Try it!

  • Matting, which can remove fringes that sometimes appear around a selected area.

  • Modify, which can modify a selection. (I'll cover this in more depth in the next section.)

  • Hide Marquee (Shift+Ctrl+M), which hides the marquee while leaving the selection active.

  • Convert to Seamless Pattern, which creates seamless tiles for repeating patterns and backgrounds.

  • Promote to Layer (Shift+Ctrl+P), which turns a selection into a new layer.

  • Load from Disk, which loads a saved selection from your disk drive.

  • Load from Alpha Channel, which loads a selection that you saved as a channel.

  • Save to Disk, which saves a selection to your hard drive.

  • Save to Alpha Channel, which saves a selection in an Alpha channel.

  • Float (Ctrl+F), which floats the selection and enables you to move it around the image while leaving the area below untouched. In other words, you create a duplicate of the selected area, which you can freely move around within the image.

  • Defloat (Shift+Ctrl+F), which drops the selected area. When you defloat a selection, you can still move the selected area around, but it will be the actual area that moves and not a duplicate of the area. Of course, you can float the selection again.

I'll explore some of these options in the next section and use most of these tools extensively throughout the remainder of the book.


Although you could move selections in previous versions of Paint Shop Pro using the Mover tool (and you may have noticed that the Selection tool changes into the Mover tool when you move the cursor inside of a selection), the movement wasn't very precise. Starting with version 7, though, you can now move a selection using the cursor keys. To do so, hold down the Shift key and use one of the cursor keys to move the selection. Doing so moves the selection in precise one-pixel increments . If you feel the need for a little more speed, hold down the Ctrl key at the same time. Doing so will move the selection by 10 pixels at a time.

Sams Teach Yourself Internet and Web Basics All in One
Sams Teach Yourself Internet and Web Basics All in One
ISBN: 0672325330
EAN: 2147483647
Year: 2003
Pages: 350
Authors: Ned Snell © 2008-2017.
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