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you™re trying to select:

Freehand: Drag an outline around the area you want to select. At what-
ever point you release the mouse button, Paint Shop Pro finishes the
outline with a straight line to your starting point. This method is best for
an area with a complex shape, especially if it doesn™t have a clear edge.
(If it does have a clear edge, try the Smart Edge method instead.)
Point to Point: Click at points around the area you want to select. As you
click, the outline appears as straight line segments connecting those
points. To close the loop, double-click or right-click, and Paint Shop Pro
draws the final line segment from that point back to the starting point.
This method works well for areas with straight edges.
Smart Edge: If the area you want to select has a noticeable edge ” a
transition between light and dark, such as the edge of someone™s head
against a contrasting background ” choose this type of selection. To


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Chapter 3: Selecting Parts of an Image

begin, click at any point along the edge. A skinny rectangle appears, with
one end attached to the cursor. Move the cursor to another point along
the edge so that a portion of the edge is contained entirely within the
rectangle and then click. Paint Shop Pro selects along the edge. Continue
clicking along the edge in this way; Figure 3-4 shows you the result.
Double-click or right-click, and Paint Shop Pro finishes the outline with
a straight line back to your starting point.
Edge Seeker: This option works much like Smart Edge, except that you
can set how wide an area it searches to find an edge (called the Range,
it™s measured in pixels). As with most Paint Shop Pro elements, you can
change the Range on the Tool Options palette.




Figure 3-4:
Alex™s coat
forms an
edge that
Smart Edge
can detect.



Here are a few tips for selecting with the Freehand tool:

Aborting: You can™t abort the selection process after you begin. Instead,
right-click (or release the mouse button if you™re dragging) to finish the
loop, and then press Ctrl+D or right-click again to remove the selection.
Undoing segments: If you™re in the middle of using Point to Point or
Smart Edge and make a mistake, you can undo segments by pressing the
Delete key on your keyboard.
Being precise: When you™re using Smart Edge, click directly on or near
the edge as you go around the shape. (Put another way, don™t overshoot
any bends in the edge or let the edge exit the rectangle from the side of
the rectangle.)
Smoothing edges: The Freehand tool provides anti-aliasing and feather-
ing, which, if you™re going to use them, you should set up before making
the selection. See the later sections “Feathering for More Gradual Edges”
and “Anti-Aliasing for Smoother Edges.”
Using layers: If your image uses layers, Smart Edge normally looks for
the edge within only the active layer. If you want Smart Edge to look at
all layers combined, click to enable the Sample Merged check box.

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Selecting a rectangle or other
regular shape
Selecting a rectangular area is particularly useful for copying portions of an
image to paste elsewhere as a separate image. This technique is also useful
for working on portions of your image that happen to be rectangular. The
Selection tool lets you select rectangles, circles, and other predetermined
shapes.

To create a selection area, click the Selection tool (see Figure 3-5) or press
the S key, and then drag diagonally on your image. You determine the shape
you drag on the Tool Options palette, as shown in Figure 3-5.


Selection shape


Figure 3-5:
Choose the
Selection
tool and
then a
shape (here,
a circle) and
any edge-
smoothing
options.
Drag to
select
an area.


Selection tool Edge-smoothing options


Choose one of the many shape selections from the drop-down list. Drag diag-
onally to give your area both width and height. Here are a few tips for making
and changing your selection:

Try again: After you define a selection, you can™t resize it by dragging
sides or corners, as you may expect. (Try it, and you drag the entire
selection instead.) Right-click anywhere to clear the shape to try again.
Or, you can simply drag a fresh shape if you begin your new drag opera-
tion anywhere outside the existing selection.




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Chapter 3: Selecting Parts of an Image

Drag: After you have selected an area, you can drag to move that por-
tion of the image and expose whatever background color or underlying
layer lies beneath your picture. Accidental dragging is very easy, but, as
with any accident, just press Ctrl+Z to undo an accidental drag.
Modify: To move, add to, or subtract from the selection, see the section
“Modifying Your Selection,” later in this chapter.



Selecting by color or brightness:
The Magic Wand tool
Sometimes, you want to select an area so uniform in appearance that you want
to simply tell Paint Shop Pro, “Go select that red balloon” or whatever it is.
To you, with your human perception, the area is an obvious thing of some
sort. In software, anything that even slightly mimics human perception is
often called magic. The Magic Wand selection tool is no exception. It can
identify and select areas of uniform color or brightness, somewhat as your
eye does.

One benefit of this tool is that you can select areas with complex edges that
would be a pain in the wrist to trace with the Freehand tool. For example, a
selection of blue sky that includes a complex skyline of buildings and trees
would be relatively easy to make with the Magic Wand tool.

The Magic Wand tool doesn™t, however, work as well as your eye. In particu-
lar, if the color or brightness of the area you™re trying to select isn™t uniform
or doesn™t contrast strongly with the surroundings, the selection is likely to
be spotty or incomplete or have rough edges.

Paint Shop Pro gives you lots of ways to improve an imperfect selection. See
the section “Modifying Your Selection,” later in this chapter, and particularly
the subsection “Removing specks and holes in your selection.”

Making the selection
To make a selection, select the Magic Wand from the selection tool group,
as shown in Figure 3-6. Your cursor takes on the Magic Wand icon. Click
the Magic Wand cursor on your image and it selects all pixels that match
(or nearly match) the pixel you clicked.

To get the selection you want when you use the Magic Wand tool, consult the
Tool Options palette. The Tool Options palette for the Magic Wand tool looks
like the one shown in Figure 3-6. The palette lets you define (by using the




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Match Mode list box) exactly what you mean by match and lets you adjust
(by adjusting the Tolerance setting) how closely the selected pixels should
match the one you clicked.


Match mode Tolerance




Figure 3-6:
Choosing
tolerance
and other
options for
the Magic
Wand
before using
it ensures
better
magic.



To select a contiguous area of similar pixels around the point where you click
(all of Alex, for example), make sure that Contiguous is selected on the Tool
Options palette. To select all similar pixels regardless of where they are in the
image ” any Alex-colored pixel anywhere, for example ” deselect the
Contiguous check box.

If your image uses layers, be sure that the active layer is the one containing
the pixels you™re trying to click with the Magic Wand. If you want the Magic
Wand tool to examine all layers combined, enable the Sample Merged check
box on the Tool Options palette. Otherwise, the Magic Wand tool selects a
totally wrong area and you wonder what™s happening!

Choosing Match mode for better results
Click the Match Mode list box and you can choose exactly how you want
Paint Shop Pro to select the pixels around the place you clicked. Some of the
choices are shown in this list:




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Chapter 3: Selecting Parts of an Image

RGB Value: When you choose this option, you tell Paint Shop Pro to
“select pixels that match in both color and brightness.” Clicking a red
apple by using this choice may select only the highlighted side where
you clicked, for example. Technically, it selects all adjacent pixels with
red (R), green (G), and blue (B) primary color values that match the one
you clicked.
Hue: You™re telling Paint Shop Pro to “select pixels that match in color”
when you choose Hue. Hue, however, is somewhat more independent of
brightness than the RGB value. Clicking a red apple with this choice is
more likely to select the entire apple than if you choose RGB Value.
Technically, this option selects all adjacent pixels with hues (in the
Hue/Saturation/Lightness color system, or color wheel) that match
the hue of the pixel you clicked.
Brightness: Brightness disregards color and selects all adjacent pixels
whose brightness matches the one you clicked. This choice is useful for
selecting things that are similarly illuminated, like shadows and high-
lights, or that are in a notably light or dark color compared with the
background.
Opacity: Opacity is a measure of how transparent your image is. Opacity
mode selects anything that™s suitably close to the transparency of the
selected pixel. For example, if a layer contains brush strokes at various
opacities, Opacity lets you select strokes of a specific range of opacity.
All Opaque: This option is a special choice for when you™re working on
an image or a layer that has transparent areas ” areas of no content
whatever ” usually displayed with a checkered background. All Opaque
tells Paint Shop Pro to select the area that has content around the pixel
where you clicked. For example, you may have photos of various air
freshener products on an otherwise transparent layer, artistically float-
ing over a cow pasture on the background layer. With this choice, you
can just click one of the products to select it in its entirety.

Experiment to get the mode that works best for you! Press Ctrl+D to deselect
each failed experiment, change match modes, and click again with the Magic
Wand tool.

Setting tolerance to include more or fewer pixels
The Tolerance setting on the Tool Options palette helps you determine how
much of an area is selected by the Magic Wand tool. You may have to undo
your selection by right-clicking, adjust the tolerance, and click again with
the Magic Wand tool several times to get the best selection possible. For an
easier solution, see the discussion of expanding and filling in selections in the
following section.




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Tolerance tells Paint Shop Pro how closely the pixels it selects should match
the pixel you clicked ” in RGB value, hue, or brightness, depending on which
match mode you chose. (Tolerance doesn™t matter for All Opaque match mode.
A pixel either has content or it doesn™t.) Here™s how it works:

Lower the tolerance value to select fewer pixels the next time you click.
Raise the tolerance value to select more pixels the next time you click.

In Paint Shop Pro, low tolerance means that the Magic Wand tool tolerates
little variation in color or brightness from the pixel you clicked. The toler-
ance value itself has no particular meaning; it™s just a number.

The Tolerance value box on the Magic Wand tool™s Tool Options palette has
a clever adjustment feature you find in similar boxes throughout Paint Shop
Pro. As with these types of boxes in any Windows program, you can type a
value (from 0 to 200) in its text box or click its up or down arrow to adjust
the value. We find that the best way is to click the down arrow, or clever
adjustment feature, and hold the mouse button down. A tiny slider appears,
which you can drag left or right to set the tolerance value lower or higher.

Tolerance can be a sensitive and picky adjustment. A small change can some-
times make a big difference in what gets selected. Unless you™re trying to select
an area well differentiated by color, brightness, or content, you probably have
to adjust your selected area afterward. We tell you how to do that in the next
section.




Modifying Your Selection
If you didn™t select exactly the area you want with one of the Paint Shop
Pro selection tools, don™t despair. You can fine-tune or completely rework
your selection in any of these ways:

Drag the selection outline to another area of your image.
Add to or subtract from your selection by using the selection tools.
Expand or contract the selection™s boundary by a given number of pixels.
Remove holes or specks in your selection.
Edit the selection with the Paint Brush or Eraser tool.
Grow the selection to include adjacent pixels of similar color or
brightness.
Select pixels of similar color or brightness anywhere in the image.

The following sections tell you how to make each one of those modifications.
Read on!
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Chapter 3: Selecting Parts of an Image


Moving the selection outline
To move the selection outline (marquee) to another area of your image, first
click the Move tool, as shown in the margin (or press the M key). Then hold
down the right mouse button anywhere in the selection area and drag to
move the outline elsewhere.



Adding to or subtracting
from your selection
You can use the selection tools to add to or remove from your selection. You
can add any area at all, and using any selection tool ” not just the one you
used to create the selection.

Performing the addition or subtraction is as simple as, well, arithmetic ”
simpler, even. Do either of the following:

To add areas to an existing selection: Hold down the Shift key (or choose
Add [Shift] as your mode on the Tool Options palette). Then, as with any
selection tool, make a new selection outside (or overlapping) the origi-
nal selection. A + sign appears next to the tool™s cursor to remind you
that you™re adding.
To subtract areas from an existing selection: Hold down the Ctrl key (or
choose Subtract [Ctrl] as your mode on the Tool Options palette). Then,
make a selection within (or overlapping) the original selection. A “ sign
attaches itself to the selection tool™s cursor.

Here™s an example. In Figure 3-7, we originally clicked with the Magic Wand
tool on the blue clothing worn by Dave™s wife, Katy, and used Brightness for
the match mode. (We chose Brightness over Hue because the contrast in
brightness between dark blue clothing and white snow was stronger than the
uniformity of the blue.) The selection extended over to sled dog Starr™s
darker markings, however, which we didn™t want.

To remove Starr from this selection, we held down the Ctrl key and used the
Freehand tool (set to the Freehand selection type) to draw a loop around
Starr. Figure 3-7 shows you this loop nearing completion. Note the “ sign near
the lasso cursor, indicating subtraction. When we released the mouse button,
Paint Shop Pro completed the loop and subtracted Starr from the selection.
We could just as easily have used the Selection tool and (with the Ctrl key
pressed) dragged an elliptical selection around Starr. In real life, Starr was
never this easy to lasso.




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Figure 3-7:
Removing
Starr from
the selec-
tion by
outlining her
with the
Freehand
tool while
pressing
the Ctrl key.




Expanding and contracting by pixels
Expanding or contracting a selection in Paint Shop Pro simply means adding
or removing a set of pixels around the edge of the selection area. It™s like pack-
ing snow onto a snowman or melting it away. You can expand or contract a
selection by as many snowflakes, er, pixels as you like. Follow these steps:

1. Choose Selections➪Modify➪Expand, or Selections➪Modify➪Contract.
The Expand Selection, or Contract Selection, dialog box appears.
2. Set the Number of Pixels control to however many pixels you want to
add or remove.
To examine the effect closely, zoom in by clicking the magnifying glass
icon marked with a + in the dialog box. Drag the image in the right panel
to move it around. To see the effect in your actual image, click the Proof
button (with the eye icon).
3. Click OK when you™re done.



Removing specks and holes
in your selection
If the current selection has holes in it that you want selected or has specks of
selected areas you don™t want, you can fix it. This feature is especially useful
for selections made with the Magic Wand.

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Chapter 3: Selecting Parts of an Image

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