You can select areas of the image using the Select menu. First, you can select the entire image by choosing "All." The keyboard shortcut is Ctrl + A. Once a selection has been made and you no longer need the selection area, you can choose "Deselect" to get rid of the selection. The shortcut for this is Ctrl + D. If you then want to select the exact same area again, you can choose "Reselect."
The fourth item on the menu, "Inverse," is a handy function. It is often desirable to select a small area and then invert the selection so that everything except that area is selected. This can save you a great deal of time and can also be used to create interesting effects.
You can select areas of the image in a similar fashion to the Magic Wand tool by choosing the Color Range option. When you click on this menu item, the Color Range dialogue box will appear. Your cursor will change to look like an eyedropper. You can use this eyedropper to sample a pixel color from your image, and like the non-contiguous Magic Wand, similar colors across the entire image will be selected.
The benefit of using the Color Range dialogue box to make your selection is that you can see the area that will be selected in the black and white preview box. In the preview, the selected area is shown in white and the area not selected is shown in black. You can use your eyedropper to sample either from the original image or from the preview box, and you can keep making adjustments until you are satisfied with the selection area.
The "Fuzziness" scale above the preview box is like the tolerance factor for the Magic Wand. The higher the fuzziness, the more is selected.
To the right of the preview box are three eyedropper icons. The default allows only one color sampling at a time. If you click on the "+" eyedropper icon, any subsequent pixel colors that you sample will be added to the selection. If you click on the "-" eyedropper icon, any subsequent pixel colors that you sample will be subtracted from the selection. You can click on the "Invert" box to invert the selection area. When the selection is the way you want it, either hit the Enter key or click "OK."
After you have selected an area of the image, you can use the Select menu to alter the selection area. The "Feather" menu item acts the same as "Feather" in the Marquee menu, discussed earlier.
Clicking on "Modify" will bring up a sub-menu of options.
- "Border" allows you to determine a border of a specified size around the edge of the selection, like a picture frame.
- "Smooth" will smooth out any corners of the selection. This is convenient if you used the Rectangular Marquee tool to make your selection but you would like rounded corners. It can also round the corners of individual letters if you have added text to your image, allowing you to alter the appearance of the font.
- "Expand" will increase the selection area by a specified number of pixels.
- "Contract" will decrease the selection area by a specified number of pixels.