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Photoshop Elements 6: The Missing Manual by Barbara Brundage

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Selecting with a Brush

Elements also gives you two very special brushes to help you make selections. The Selection brush has been part of this program since Elements 2, so if you've used Elements before, you probably know how useful it is. In Elements 6, you also get the amazing new Quick Selection tool, which makes even the trickiest selections as easy as doodling.

The Quick Selection tool and the Selection brush are grouped together in the Tool-box, and they appear in both Full Edit and Quick Fix because they're so useful. You may well find that with these two tools you rarely need the other selection tools anymore.

It couldn't be easier to use the Quick Selection tool:

  1. Activate the Quick Selection tool.

    Click it in the Toolbox or press A, and then choose it from the Toolbox pop-out menu. It shares a Toolbox slot with the regular Selection brush. Their icons are very similar, so look carefully—the Quick Selection tool looks more like a wand than a brush and it points up, while the regular Selection brush points down.

  2. Drag in your photo.

    As you move the mouse, Elements calculates where it thinks the selection edges should be, and the selection outline jumps out to surround that area. It's an amazingly good guesser. There's no need to try to cover the entire area or to go around the edges of your object—Elements does that for you.

    There are a few Options bar controls, which are explained below, but you mostly won't need to think about them, at least not till you make your selection. Then ...

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