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3 easy ways to refine your selections

Added on Sunday 22nd of June 2008 07:21 am EST
Adobe Photoshop CS/CS2/CS3
Operating Systems:
Microsoft Windows, Macintosh

Even if you choose the best selection method for your image, that doesn’t guarantee the perfect selection on the first try. Even the best selection attempts need a little assistance now and then. Lucky for us, Photoshop offers a few ways to refine our not-quite-perfect selections.

Refine edge selections
The Refine Edge command— which debuted in Photoshop CS3— allows you to fine-tune your selections and preview them on different backgrounds for easier editing. Use the Refine Edge command to smooth a jagged selection edge, feather a selection edge, increase or decrease your selection size, or remove selection edge artifacts.
With an active selection, simply choose Select > Refine Edge, to display the Refine Edge dialog box shown in Figure A.
Click on a background type thumbnail on which to preview your selection, adjust the sliders to suit your image, and then click OK.

Note: For an in-depth look at the Refine Edge dialog box, check out our article “Make selecting a snap with CS3’s new Quick Selection tool,” in the November 2007 issue of Inside Photoshop. Online subscribers can point your browsers to


Transform selections
Another way to modify a selection is with the Transform Selection command. The Transform Selection command allows you to scale, rotate, skew, and distort an active selection edge, independent of the image pixels, as shown in Figure B.


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