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.
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, or paint a selection on your photo with the Selection brush, or just draw a line with the Quick Selection tool and let Elements figure out the exact boundaries of your selection. When you’re looking to pluck a particular object (a beautiful flower, say) from a photo, the Magic Extractor works wonders.
For most jobs, there’s no right or wrong tool; with experience you may find you tend to prefer working with certain tools more than others. Often you’ll use more than one tool to create a perfect selection. Once you’ve read this chapter you’ll understand all the different selection tools ...