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Photoshop Elements 6: The Missing Manual by Barbara Brundage

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Chapter 5. Making Selections

One of Elements’ most impressive talents is its ability to let you select part of your image and make changes only to that area. Selecting something tells Elements, “Hey, this is what I want to work on. Just let me work on this part of my picture and don’t touch the rest of it.” You can select your entire image or any part of it.

By using selections, you can fine-tune your images in very sophisticated ways. You could change the color of just one rose in a whole bouquet, for instance, or change your nephew’s festive purple hair color back to something his grandparents would appreciate. Graphics pros will tell you that good selections make the difference between shoddy amateurish work and a slick professional job.

In the past, getting good selections was a time-consuming process. But Elements 6 gives you two great new tools—Adobe sent them over from the full-featured Photoshop—that make the process much simpler. The handy Quick Selection tool (Selecting with a Brush) makes most selections as simple as drawing a line. (If you’ve used Elements before, you’ll see it’s a greatly simplified and enhanced version of the Magic Selection brush, and it works much better.) And the Refine Edge command (Selecting with a Brush) gives you far more control over how well your selection blends into another image.

Elements offers you a whole bunch of different selection tools to work with. You can draw a rectangular or a circular selection with the Marquee tools, for instance, ...

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