How to use Photoshop's magnetic lasso tool step by step

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Philippe Gloaguen

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Photoshop is a great Adobe program for designers but it's also very useful for anyone with a little knowledge of the tools it offers, which although they seem somewhat complex, are usually easier to use than they appear.

You can do an infinite number of tasks with Photoshop tools. From the retouching of your photos and their improvement, from changing the background of a photo, to creating a graphic scheme, when creating montages and the design of logos of all kinds. For those who are starting to know and use this efficient program, there are essential tools that we must know how to use, among them we have the lasso.

How to use Photoshop's magnetic lasso tool step by step

The lasso tool it is very useful for drawing free-form segments on any selection border and also has several variants that fulfill certain functions, among which we have the magnetic lasso and the polygonal lasso.

If you are learning to use Photoshop or want to learn how to work with this program, in this article you will be able to learn to use the lasso tool and its variations so you can start doing your first jobs on this excellent platform.

      Lasso tool and how to use it

      The lasso tool does found in Photoshop's main options. Long clicking on this tool will bring up the other variants of it.

      All lasso tools are used to be able to make selections from areas of one or more images, thus giving us a very varied range of interesting results.

      The common lasso, also known as a freehand lasso, is used to make a selection after moving the mouse. To use it we will have to click on any part of the image, with the tool activated, and we will be able to outline the area of ​​the image that we want to select. To stop the contouring we will have to separate the finger from the click.

      This tool it is quite practical for selecting large areas , but it can get a bit imprecise with other types of more detailed images, since the mouse does not offer the maximum precision and it is possible to go beyond the limits we wanted to select.

      Magnetic lasso and how to use it

      This tool is used to make automatic selections. These fit the silhouette of the image we're working on. The great advantage of the magnetic loop is that when we select, will select an alternative route for the selected area.

      This path originated and proposed by the tool has the particularity of fit the image that is underneath the area with which we are working. For this reason, this is very useful for selecting silhouettes.

      To use the magnetic lasso we have to click with the mouse to start the selection and then surround the item to be selected with the pointer. As the selection is made, it will automatically adjust to the silhouette of the image, placing anchor points to delimit the area.

      We also have the possibility of manually mark the anchor points clicking on the spot in the image where we want an anchor point to be. This tool is quite useful in some cases, as it offers options to better find the path we want to mark for selection.

      Polygonal lasso and how to use it

      This tool is ideal for selecting parts of an image that are composed of straight lines. As the name indicates, it can select only polygonal lines, so it doesn't work with elements that, in addition to having straight lines, have curvatures.

      When we select the tool, we must choose the direction in which we will start making the selection, bearing in mind that it will only be able to draw straight lines. Once we want to change direction, we will only have to click to end the stroke and start another in a new direction, to continue outline the silhouette of the picture.

      If we want to cut the image, once the stroke is finished we will have to use the cut tool and we can paste it on a new layer using the tasti Ctrl + J.

      If, on the other hand, what you want to cut is what surrounds the object and not the object as such, you have to make a reverse cut, to do this press the Ctrl + Shift + I buttons and paste it in another layer Ctrl + J.

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