In this handy guide, we've shared how to use Photoshop's Quick Selection tool to isolate areas of your image based on color, tone, and texture. Arguably more advanced than the Magic Wand, the Quick Selection tool is great at finding the edges of objects, so you can simply draw your selection and Photoshop will do most of the heavy lifting. Once you get the hang of how Quick Selection works, it can be one of the most powerful tools in your Photoshop arsenal.
Making a Selection
1. First, load your current Photoshop project and choose the Quick Selection tool from the Tools panel (it looks like a paintbrush drawing a dotted circle). You can also press the W key on your keyboard to select it.
2. Let's say you want to select the subject in your photograph, so that she's isolated from the background. Unlike the Lasso, Pen, or Magnetic Lasso tools, the Quick Selection tool makes the selection process much cleaner. Start by clicking on the top left corner of your subject to select it, and you'll see a dashed line around the initial selection.
3. To continue adding to your selection, just click and drag over the rest of your subject, as if you're drawing an outline around it. As you do this, Photoshop will work its magic and distinguish between different colors and textures to refine the selection.
4. If you make a mistake in the selection process and need to undo something, just press Ctrl+Z (or Command+Z on Mac) to go back a step. Remember, the Quick Selection tool can continue adding small sections with each click of the mouse, so take your time when amending your selection.
Removing Part of a Selection
Once you're happy with the overall selection, you can start zooming in on sections that Photoshop didn't analyze correctly, and clean them up manually. To remove areas from a selection, choose the "Subtract from Selection" option in the top options bar. Then, start dragging around the sections that need to be removed.
To change the scope of your edits at any point in the process, you can press the left bracket key ("[") to make your Quick Selection cursor smaller, or the right bracket key ("]") to make it larger. This is particularly helpful when zooming in on a section of your image, and making tiny changes to your selection.
Inverting the Selection
Once you've made a selection, you can invert it so that the background (or the foreground) is selected instead. Just press Shift+Ctrl+I (or Shift+Command+I on Mac) to invert your current selection. This makes it easy to switch between the subject and the background, so you can apply color and filter adjustments.