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How To Deselect in Photoshop

How To Deselect in Photoshop

You can use Photoshop to edit photos and other sorts of images to create graphics for your online or print project. Breaking images into layers and discrete elements makes it easy to modify individual parts of the image without affecting other portions accidentally. When working on small portions of the image, it's essential to remember to only select the elements you want to modify. It's just as vital to understand how to deselect elements once you're finished editing them so you don't make any undesired changes.

Identifying a Selection

Before you can deselect an element of your image, you need to know what's selected. In Photoshop, there are various tools that you can use to select an area: the magic wand, quick selection, marquee, and lasso, to name a few. You can tell something is selected because of the dotted line surrounding that portion of the image. 

Deselecting From the Top Menu

In the top menu of the software, there is a Select option. Clicking on this opens a drop-down menu. You can easily find and click the Deselect option, which affects the selected elements.

Deselecting With the Keyboard Shortcut

If you don't want to use your mouse to access the top Select menu, you can use a keyboard shortcut instead. On a Windows machine, hold down Ctrl and D simultaneously. On a Mac, the shortcut is Cmd-D.

Deselecting a Layer

If you want to select and deselect an entire layer in Photoshop, instead of just specific elements within that layer, the process is relatively similar. Select a layer by clicking on it in the Layers panel on the lower right-hand side of the screen. You can tell which layer is selected because the background in the panel is a different color. Holding down the Ctrl (Windows) or the Cmd (Mac) key while clicking allows you to select more than one layer at a time. 

With one or more layers selected, you can deselect a single layer by clicking on it while pushing the Ctrl or Cmd key. If you want to quickly deselect all selected layers, move your cursor to the blank area below the list of layers on the right side of the screen and click there.

Being able to select and deselect portions of an image in Photoshop allows you to perform customized edits with extreme precision. When you're finished with the changes you want to make to a selection, you must remember to deselect it before moving on so you don't make any unintended modifications. If you want to find the perfect photo for your next project, you can browse through Shutterstock's extensive library of royalty-free images.
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