Method 1: Extract Tool
Go to Filters>Extract and a new window will appear with your image in it. Use the Highlighter tool, adjusting the brush size as needed, to draw an outline around your subject. Then select the Fill tool and click inside the line you've drawn to highlight your subject. Click the preview button to make sure the extraction looks how you expected it to be then hit OK if you're happy.
Method 2: Layer Mask
Click on the Layer Mask icon at the bottom of the Layers Palette then select the Paint Brush tool. Make sure black is set as your foreground colour then, with an appropriately sized brush, paint your background away. You can pick as smaller brush size and zoom in with the Magnifying tool when you get close to your subject. If you accidentally erase some of your subject switch your foreground colour to white and paint the detail back in.
Method 3: Magic Wand Tool
If you're working on an image that has a background that has a similar colour all the way through it then the Magic Wand tool can make the extraction process rather quick. Select the tool and click on part of the background you want to remove. You'll see that this part now has a selection running around it. If you still have part of the background that's not selected simply click on all the other areas until it's all part of the selection. Go to Edit>Cut or press the delete key on your keyboard and the background will be removed.
Method 4: Polygonal Lasso Tool
As with the Pen Tool you go around the edge of your subject but when you click no anchor points are placed this time and when you get back to the start it is automatically turned into a selection. Zooming in with the magnifying tool before you start your selection can make it easier. Next, go to Select>Inverse then Edit>Cut to remove the background. Deselect the selection to finish the process.
Method 5: Pen Tool
Select the Pen Tool from the tools palette then go around the edge of your subject, clicking to add anchor points as you go along. Zooming in with the magnifying tool before you start your selection can make it easier when you're working with particularly awkward shapes.
Once you get back to the start, click the fist anchor point you made to close finish the selection.
Rick Click on the image and select Make Selection. Once you hit OK the line you drew will now be turned into 'marching ants'. Go to Select>Inverse to select the background you want to remove and press delete on your keyboard or go to Edit>Cut.
Method 6: Erase Tool
You can simply erase the background but this can be quite tricky to use when working near your subject.
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