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This feature works in a more understandable fashion if your selection has no
feathering (see the following section).

After you have an area selected, follow these steps:

1. Choose Selections➪Modify➪Remove Specks and Holes.
You™re presented with a Remove Specks and Holes dialog box, as shown
in Figure 3-8, which shows you the selected area on the left and the
despecked or deholed area on the right. This box needs to know the
maximum size of the speck or hole to be filled in (as measured in pixels,
the smallest element of the picture that can be measured).

Figure 3-8:
A gappy
filled in.

2. To select the Remove Specks, Remove Holes, or Remove Specks and
Holes option, click the appropriate option box.
3. In the two boxes labeled Square Area Smaller Than, enter the size
(the area in total pixels) of the largest holes or specks to be removed.
The numbers in the boxes are a bit confusing, so think of it as a multipli-
cation project: In Figure 3-8, the left number is set to 70 and the right
number is chosen to be 100. (The number on the right goes up in multi-
ples of 10.) Any speck of selection in Figure 3-8 that is smaller than 7,000
pixels is removed; any hole smaller than that is filled.

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52 Part I: The Basics

4. When the picture on the right looks correct, click OK.
If you™re not sure whether all the holes and specks are fixed, zoom in by
clicking the magnifying glass icon marked with a + and move your view
by dragging on the image in the right panel. To see the selection in your
actual image, click the button with the eye icon. Change the left number
in Step 3 to fine-tune the result.

As you can see, the holes in Alex™s interior get filled in, but they™re not
expanded out along the border. The danger is that if you select too wide an
area, Paint Shop Pro may well decide that your entire selection is one huge
gap and erase it.

Editing the selection
Tired of all that adding and subtracting to get exactly the selection you want?
Wish that you could just paint the selection area? Well, here™s how:

1. Choose Selections➪Edit Selections.
The selected area turns a stimulating reddish orange. (This color, and in
fact the procedure, should be familiar if you have used “masks” in image
2. In the Materials palette, choose white as your foreground/stroke color
and black as your background/fill color.
In the Foreground/Stroke Properties box or Background/Fill Properties
box, you can right-click to quickly choose black or white. Choosing gray
gives an intermediate degree of selection (a sort of transparency), which
may confuse the heck out of you.
3. Use the Paint Brush tool to paint the new selected area, or the Eraser
tool to remove the selected area.
4. Choose Selections➪Edit Selections to exit the editing process.

Feathering for More Gradual Edges
When you copy or modify selected areas, you may notice that the edge
between the selection and the background becomes artificially obvious. To
keep a natural-looking edge on these types of objects, use feathering in your

Feathering creates a blending zone of several pixels (however many you
choose) extending both into and out of your selection. Whatever change you
make to the selected area fades gradually within that zone, from 100 percent
at the inner edge to 0 percent at the outer edge of the zone. For example, if
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Chapter 3: Selecting Parts of an Image

you were to increase the brightness of the selected area, that increase fades
gradually to 0 at the outer edge of the feathered zone. If you delete, copy, cut,
or move a feathered selection, you also leave a feathered edge behind.

You can apply feathering in either of two ways:

Before making the selection: On the Tool Options palette for whatever
selection tool you™re using, set the Feather value to something greater
than zero. When you next make a selection, the feathering is applied and
the marquee™s enclosed area expands to include the outer feathered
After making the selection: Choose Selections➪Modify➪Feather and
the Feather Selection dialog box appears. Set the Number of Pixels value
in that dialog box to the number of pixels you want the selection feath-
ered, and then click OK. The area within the selection marquee expands.

The value you set in the Feather control tells Paint Shop Pro how wide to
make the feather zone ” how many pixels to extend it into, and out of, the
selection. (A setting of 4, for example, creates a feathered zone 4 pixels into
and 4 pixels out from the edge of the selection, for a total of 8 pixels wide.) A
larger value makes a wider, more gradually feathered edge. When you feather,
the marquee expands to include the pixels that are in the feathering zone.

If feathering in all directions is too clumsy for you, you can choose to feather
the edge in one direction only, either into the interior of the selection or
feathering out beyond its borders. Choose Selections ➪Modify➪ Inside/Outside
Feather to display a dialog box that offers exactly the same pixel control of
the regular Feather control, except that you get to choose which way you

Figure 3-9 shows you the difference that feathering makes. Normally, Alex is
fairly fuzzy around the edges anyway. Feathering makes his edges even fuzzier.
From left to right, this is the same image copied without feathering, with feath-
ering in all directions, with inside-only feathering, and with outside-only

Figure 3-9:
and pasted
on a white
with the four
types of
feathering. Unfeathered Normal (inside/out) Inside Outside
feathering, feathering, feathering,
8 pixels 8 pixels 8 pixels
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54 Part I: The Basics

When you copy or move a feathered selection, you bring along a faint
border ” feathered copies of the original background pixels surrounding
the selection.

You can defeather your image by choosing Selections➪Modify➪Unfeather;
unfortunately, this command isn™t like the friendly Undo button, where it
magically undoes any feathering you have added. Instead, this command dis-
plays a dialog box in which you can set the threshold of how harshly you want
to strip any fuzziness from the edges of your selection; a low threshold gives
your selection a light shave, whereas a high threshold reduces your selection
to a sticklike skeleton of itself.

Because feathering a selection expands the marquee, it gives the appearance
of filling in holes in a selection (adding them entirely to the selection). It
doesn™t really add those holes entirely to the selection, however; the pixels
in them are simply feathered. As a result, if you feather a selection that has
holes in it and then cut, delete, or move it, you leave behind faint images of
those holes. If your selection has holes, try removing specks and holes or
smoothing the selection before you feather it.

Anti-Aliasing for Smoother Edges
Because computer images are made up of tiny squares (the pixels), when a
straight edge of a selection is anything other than perfectly horizontal or ver-
tical, those squares give the edge a microscopic staircase, or sawtooth, shape
known as aliasing. Any changes you make to the selected area, or any cutting
or pasting of the selection, may make that aliasing objectionably obvious.

To avoid aliasing when you next make a selection, click to enable the Anti-alias
check box on the Tool Options palette for your selection tool. Anti-aliasing is
available for only the Freehand tools, not the Magic Wand or the Selection
tool. (You can use feathering to reduce most aliasing problems.)

The anti-aliasing option, like other settings on the Tool Options palette, applies
to only selections you make after choosing that option, not to a current selec-
tion. You can™t fix an existing aliased selection by clicking that option.

Selecting All, None, or Everything But
Sometimes, you want a selection to be an all-or-nothing proposition! To select
the entire image, press Ctrl+A or choose Selections➪Select All.

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Chapter 3: Selecting Parts of an Image

The easiest way to select complex shapes
Selecting everything but and then inverting is a However, if you do have a complex background,
useful trick when you may have a complex you can use the Background Eraser to clear a
object on a comparatively uniform background. “moat” of transparent space around the shape
Rather than spend lots of effort selecting the you want selected and then switch to the regu-
object, you can more easily select the uniform lar Eraser tool to remove everything outside that
background with the Magic Wand tool and then, moat. Then use the Magic Wand to select the
by pressing Ctrl+Shift+I, invert the selection transparent space around your image and
(which selects the complex object). It doesn™t invert it.
work if the background is complex, but you
would be surprised at how much time you can

To select none (also known as clearing the selection or deselecting), press
Ctrl+D or choose Selections➪Select None. You can also clear selections (except
when the entire image is selected) by right-clicking anywhere on the image.

Sometimes, you may want to select everything but the part of the image that
is not selected. This process is known as inverting the selection. To perform
it, choose Selections➪Invert or press Ctrl+Shift+I.

An Example: Selecting Alex,
and Only Alex
So, you have a problem: Your dog (the one in our example is named Alex) is
sick of the snow. Sure, you could send him to a tropical paradise, but you
have decided that it™s much simpler to select him so that you can cut and
paste him into a picture of the Caribbean. Then you show him the picture
and tell him that he was in the tropics just last week.

The genius of dogs is that they require surprisingly little evidence to believe
anything you tell them. So, how do you complete the transfer?

1. Select the Magic Wand tool from the selection tool group.
Because you™re trying to select Alex and he™s the only really brown thing
in the picture, set the Magic Wand tool options to a match mode of Color.

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56 Part I: The Basics

2. Set the tolerance of the Magic Wand.
Here™s the trick: Even we hardened professional Paint Shop Pro experts
(we™re writing a book on it, aren™t we?) are never sure what number to use
for tolerance ” like everyone else, we guess.
We guess 100, which, as you can see in Figure 3-10, turns out to be way
too much. Right-click to clear the selection and try again. A little experi-
menting with the tolerance shows you that a tolerance of 25 is a solid
starting point.

Figure 3-10:
Alex, at 25
and 100
filled in
black for

25 tolerance 100 tolerance

3. Shift-click a few stray selections to clean up the edges.
The Magic Wand selected most of this cuddly retriever, but Alex™s ear,
the underside of his left foot, and his right rear foot are still not selected.
Those are also the areas where the color tends to vary a little more wildly,
by shifting from almost black to light green, so set the tolerance a little
higher, to 50, for example ” and then Shift+click in these areas to add
those places to your selection. As you can see in Figure 3-11, that action
adds the ears and feet, and also adds unwanted portions of the door to
your selection.

Figure 3-11:
Alex, with
more added,
and also
the door.

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Chapter 3: Selecting Parts of an Image

4. Fill in the small gaps.
Choose Selections➪Modify➪Remove Specks and Holes and set it to 70 x
100 pixels, which automatically chooses any gap smaller than 700 pixels.
Look back at Figure 3-8 to see the clear difference; click OK.
5. Ctrl+click the door away.
Although you can create some fancy shenanigans with the Select Color
Range option to remove that pesky door, you have a simpler solution:
Because it™s all in one place, you can just Ctrl+select it away. Remember
that Shift+select adds to your existing selection, whereas Ctrl+select
subtracts it. In this case, you switch to the Freehand tool, hold down
Ctrl, and draw a ring around the door to remove it.
6. Feather the edges.
Now, the edges are crisp ” too crisp, as you can see in Figure 3-12. A little
feathering makes the selection edge softer and blends it with any back-
ground in which you paste it. Choose Selections➪Modify➪ Inside/Outside
Feather and opt to feather the inside of the selection by two pixels.

Alex before feathering:
Notice the jagged, blocky edge?
Figure 3-12:
The two
sides of
Alex: pre-
and post-
Alex after feathering,
with his edges muted

Avoiding Selection Problems
in Layered Images
Layered images can cause both the selection and the editing of those selec-
tions to go apparently screwy. The Magic Wand tool and Smart Edge features
may appear neither magic nor smart, by selecting areas not at all like what
you had in mind. Also, whatever changes you try to perform to the selected
area (such as cutting, copying, or changing color) may apparently not take
place. (If you™re not sure whether your image has layers, see Chapter 11.)

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58 Part I: The Basics

The basic trick is to work on the right layer. Here are some more detailed
rules you can follow to keep the selection and editing process relatively sane:

Activate the right layer: Before you make any changes to a selected
area (such as fill-painting it), be sure to activate the layer you want to
change. Otherwise, you paint (or otherwise modify) whatever layer
happens to be active at the time.
Use Sample Merged for combined layers: Before you make a selection
with the Magic Wand tool or Smart Edge feature, if the object you™re
trying to select is the result of various layers combined, enable the
Sample Merged check box on the Tool Options palette. That way, the
Magic Wand tool or Smart Edge feature examines the combined effect,
not just the active layer. For example, if you added a party hat to Uncle
Charley™s head on a separate layer and now you want to select Charley-
with-hat by using the Smart Edge feature, you use Sample Merged.
Consider the effect of higher layers: If the changes you try to make to a
selected area aren™t visible or seem only partially effective, a higher
opaque or transparent layer may contain pixels that are obscuring your
work. You may have to merge layers, make your changes to the higher,
obscuring layer, or rethink your use of layers altogether.

Paint Shop Pro helps keep you sane. The preview window that certain adjust-
ments provide (such as Brightness/Contrast) shows you only the area you™re
affecting: the selected part of the active layer. If the wrong layer is active, you
don™t see the area you™re expecting!

When you make a selection, it extends to all layers ” no matter which one is
active at the time. Changes to selected image areas, however (like painting),
affect only the active layer. So, you can activate one layer, for example, to
make a selection with the Magic Wand tool and then switch to another layer
to make changes within that selected area.

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Chapter 4
Moving, Copying, and Reshaping
Parts of Your Image
In This Chapter
Moving, floating, copying, or deleting a selection
Using the Windows Clipboard
Reshaping selections

I n Chapter 3, we tell you how to select a chunk of your image in Paint Shop
Pro. In this chapter, you see how to move, copy, twist, and deform a selec-
tion ” in short, how to do almost anything that changes the physical loca-
tion or outline of a selection. (Paint Shop Pro also lets you rotate, flip, or
mirror a selection. Just select something and follow the same directions
Chapter 2 gives for rotating, flipping, or mirroring an entire image.)

If your image has multiple layers, make sure that you™re working on the
right layer. See Chapter 12 for help with layers.
You can press Ctrl+Z to undo any changes you make. The changes you
can undo include selecting, floating, moving, copying, pasting, or
The instructions in this chapter deal only with selections to bitmap or
raster images (images made from dots, not objects like rectangles or
text). To deal with vector selections (typically, text, lines, and geometric
shapes), see Chapter 12.

Floating, Moving, and
Deleting Selections
After you have made a selection, you can easily move it anywhere within
your image, move a copy of it, or delete it altogether. Here™s how to do it:

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