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Lasso tools -Photoshop tool explained

Lasso tools -Photoshop tool explained - How to use Photoshop's lasso selection tools.

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Adobe Photoshop

Words & Pictures Barry Beckham/David Rowley

The lasso selection tools (shortcut L) are provided in three variations. The lasso tool and polygonal lasso tool which allow you to draw both freehand and straight edge selections, whilst the magnetic lasso is ideal for edges set against high contrast backgrounds. To change from one lasso to another press shift+L.

lasso tool
To make a selection with the Lasso Tool (shortcut L) simply drag the lasso around the area you want to select (see above). When you return to your starting point your selection will become the familiar marching ants, this also applies to the other lasso tools (see below).


polygonal lasso

The polygonal lasso will allow you to makes straight sided selection. Click to set the starting point then click every time you want to anchor the lasso. You can switch to the freehand lasso tool at any time by holding the alt key as we have shown below.

Tip Use the zoom tool to magnify your image while you are making your selections. You may find it much easier to work this way.

Choosing feather will soften the edges of the selection of the lasso tools. The value of the feather will depend on your image size but generally 2-3 pixels will be sufficient.


magnetic lasso tool
Click to set the anchor point for your magnetic lasso tool then moving along the edge of your image Photoshop will snap the magnetic tool to the edge. The magnetic lasso will lay down anchor points at significant locations as we have shown above. These anchor points can be removed by pressing the delete key. When you have finished, click on the first anchor point to close the selection.


Clicking on the add to selection icon allows you to make more than one selection (see above). To remove part of your selection click on the subtract from selection icon and using the lasso to draw the part you want to subtract from the selection.

You can also use the shortcut shift key to add and the alt key to subtract.








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