Friday, April 03, 2015

Mastering the Elliptical Marquee Tool

Have you ever noticed that the Elliptical Marquee tool just doesn't select the area you want?
You start to make a selection and it always ends up off to the side of what you want to select and it usually looks like the photo below.
I had given up on using this selection tool until I learned how to control it.
Here is a trick to improve your chances of getting what you want selected.
Imagine a box around your image. Start your selection (place the crosshair icon) in what what be the bounding box area around your elliptical shape.
You'll end up getting a lot closer to the area you want.
To refine your selection even more, go to Select - Transform selection.
You'll then get the wonderful little handles to customize your selection even more like the above photo. Just grab the handle icons to resize and shift your selection to the exact area you want.

Of course there would have been an even better way to make a selection in the above example. Because the sky is all black I could have selected the sky with the Quick Selection or Magic Wand tool and then went to Select > Inverse. However, that only works well if the background is a solid color.
Now you'll be able to finally get the results you should when using the elliptical marquee tool.
Happy selecting!

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