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Photoshop CC: The Missing Manual by Lesa Snider

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Selecting by Color

In addition to tools for selecting areas by shape, Photoshop has tools that let you select areas by color. This option is helpful when you want to select a chunk of an image that’s fairly uniform in color, like someone’s skin, the sky, or the paint job on a car. Photoshop has lots of tools to choose from, and in this section, you’ll learn how to pick the one that best suits your needs.

The Quick Selection Tool

The Quick Selection tool is shockingly easy to use and lets you create complex selections with just a few brushstrokes. As you paint with this tool, your selection expands to encompass pixels similar in color to the ones you’re brushing across. It works insanely well if there’s a fair amount of contrast between what you want to select and everything else. This tool lives in the same toolset as the Magic Wand, as you can see in Figure 5-7.

To use this friendly tool, click anywhere in the area you want to select or drag the brush cursor across it, as shown in Figure 5-8. When you do that, Photoshop thinks for a second and then creates a selection based on the color of the pixels you clicked or brushed across. The size of the area it selects is proportional to the size of the brush you’re using: A larger brush creates a larger selection. You adjust the Quick Selection tool’s brush size just like any other brush: by choosing a new size from the Brush picker in the Options bar, or by using the left and right bracket keys ([ and ]) to decrease and increase brush ...

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