Photoshop Selection Technique Tutorial (with Video)

Learn how to Select a subject in Photoshop the easy way…

Selecting a part of any image, can be considered as the building block of image editing, and no doubt Adobe Photoshop takes this seriously. There exist 9 unique Photoshop selection tools for easy photo editing.

In this tutorial, we will discuss the most widely used selection tool of Photoshop CS3+, namely Quick Selection Tool. Along with Refine Edges feature, this photoshop selection tool can select almost any type of object in an image.

Photoshop Selection Tutorial

1. Open your desired image in Photoshop. I will use the image shown below in this tutorial with Adobe Photoshop CS4.

image for photoshop selection tutorial
image for photoshop selection tutorial

2. Now, right-click the background layer & choose Layer from Background. In the New Layer dialog box, click OK to convert your background layer into a new Layer for us to work upon.

Convert Background to Layer
Convert Background to Layer

3. In this tutorial, I will be selecting the cute dog. Now, choose Quick Selection Tool from the tool palette on left of Photoshop, or press W.

Choose Quick Selection Tool in Photoshop
Choose Quick Selection Tool

4. From the settings bar at top (below menu bar), choose Add to Selection brush type, select a suitable size for your brush, keep Hardness at maximum & Spacing at lowest. Also, check Auto-Enhance & Sample All Layers checkboxes.
(Refer Screenshot)

Quick Selection Tool Settings
Quick Selection Tool Settings

Tip: Small Brush Size enhances accuracy.

5. Now simply click & drag your cursor over the part of image that you want to select (the dog in our case). This amazing  Photoshop Selection Tool will automatically try to find edges to give you the best selection around your subject.

Rough Selection in Photoshop
Make a Rough Selection around Subject

No need to be very accurate right now, just make a very rough selection around your subject, we can eliminate the non-required parts of the image from our selection later.

6. Now that you have covered each part of your subject in the selection, we will eliminate the extra area that we do not want in our selection. For this, press & hold Alt button and click on such non-required area to subtract it from your selection.

You might want to Zoom in to effectively subtract non-required area.

Accurate Selection in Photoshop
A More Accurate Selection

Tip: Press Open Square Bracket ([) to decrease & Closed Square Bracket (]) to increase brush size while selecting.

7. If you zoom in, you will find that your selection has jagged edges. No worries, with the quick selection tool still selected, right-click on your selection & choose Refine Edges…

Refine Edge in Photoshop
Open Refine Edge

8. In View Mode section, click on View to bring a drop-down menu & choose On White or press W. This will bring your selected subject on a white background, so you can easily see the edges & fix them.

Select On White in Refine Edge
Select On White in Refine Edge

9. Now in the Adjust Edge section, adjust the Smooth slider to smoothen the edges of your Photoshop selection. Use the Contrast slider to increase the contrast of the edges so that they don’t look feathered & blurry.

Adjust Edge Settings in Refine Edge
Adjust Edge Settings in Refine Edge

Tip: Feather will fade in the edges, while Shift Edge will shift the edges of your selection a little away from what you originally selected. So, it’s recommended that you do not touch these settings. Also, leave alone the Edge Detection section.

10. In the Output section, click the Output To drop down menu & select where you’d like to export your final refined selection. Choose Selection to get the output back in your original layer.

Choose Output in Refine Edge
Choose Output in Refine Edge

11. So here is what your final selection around the subject will look like.

Photoshop Selection Tutorial Result
Photoshop Selection Tutorial Result

Go ahead and do whatever you want to, with that selected subject. You can change its background, or put it into another image & so on.

Did you try out our Photoshop Selection Tutorial? How well did it go? Share in the comments below 😉

Photoshop Selection Tutorial Video

Author: Ishaan Garg

Co-Founder, Admin at TrickVilla, am a tech geek. My areas of interest include multimedia editing, SEO, web-designing, gadgets & more.

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