In this article let’s look at some Marquee Tool Options. You‘ll notice it changes depending on which tool you have selected, even which marquee tool. So lets have a look at what’s what.
I’ll start by having a look at some of the features that appear on all the marquee tool bars;
General Settings – The Rectangular Marquee Tool
The first group of icons determine how one selection interacts with another.
From left to right;
Replace any existing selection with a new one. (New selection)
Add to existing selection
Remove from existing selection
Keep existing selection only where new selection intersects with it.
Feather. It’s much easer to add a feather once you have set your selection, so it’s not very often you’re going to want to change this. (I’d love to know if you use this regularly and in what situations)
Next along we’ve got a drop down menu that sets out if we’d like to constrain the selection and, if so, how.
The default, ‘Normal’ lets us draw out the selection however we choose, no constraints.
The second option doesn’t restrict the size, only how wide to how tall. In the case above I have it set to 7 pixels across and 5 pixels high non dependant of measurements like inches, centimetres etc. So for every 7 across it’ll be 5 high, . Both the Width and Height can be entered via the keyboard or increased and decreased using the keyboard arrow keys.
The last option, Fixed Size, plonks down a selection the size entered in the Width and height boxes. Like many boxes of this kind we can enter cm, in, px etc.
Elliptical Marquee Tool
There’s on major addition with this tool;
Having this checked the curve of my selection will be nice and smooth, unchecked it’ll be blocky, of like steps
The Magnetic Lasso Tool
We’ve got a few more options to play with with the magnetic lasso so lets take a look;
Width is asking me how far, either side, from the cursor it should look for an edge.
Contrast is asking about the contrast between what you are trying to select and the background. If there’s a lot of contrast then I can set it quite high, low and I’ll have to set a low number.
Frequency is how often there’ll be an anchor point. If Im doing quite a complex image then I’ll want quite a high number here.
That final icon can be selected when I’m using a graphics tablet. Using pressure sensitivity I can adjust the width setting as I trace around my image.
Refine edge needs a tutorial all it’s own. Fortunately Mike Hoffman and Gavin Hoey have it covered!
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