Using the Selection Tools

These are very important for editing images.  Let's start with the square Selection first.  Click on the selection tool, then place the cursor on the part of the image you want to start your selection on.  I've already selected a portion of my image.
 

If that's the only part of the image I want to keep, I go to Image, then choose Crop to Selection, and I will be left with only that part that was within the selection lines

.

 

If I use the Invert Selection icon though, this is what happens:
The selection has now been inverted so that the area inside the broken lines is now what will be cropped out.

 

Well, you don't want that, but there are many times you are going to need to use that invert selection command, especially when you work with borders or filters.  I'll be going into more detail about that in those sections.


Now let's use the Freehand Select.  I click on the icon for that tool, then draw around the area I want something done to.  In this case I draw around the head and then choose invert selection because I want the action to take place on everything around his head, not on his head.  What I did after inverting the selection was to go to Image, Blur, and then Soften.  I wanted to soften everything around him.  This won't work on gifs.  You will notice many effects, filters, etc... will be grayed out if you are working on a gif.  If you go to use an effect and notice that your image is a gif, just use the increase arrow that you have hopefully placed on your toolbar.  This will change your image into a jpg while you are working on it.  If you want it to be a gif when you are done, then use the decrease arrow and it will once again become a gif.  You may have to set the transparency again though.

 

Once you have finished the effect, use the select to click on the image to set it/remove the lines of the select.  Remember, if you have set it up so that you have many undos, you can go back and undo if you don't like it.  When you get good at drawing with the freehand select, you can fix all kinds of nagging problems in an image that has parts of it with things like annoying spots.  The soften effect will softly blur/blend those spots so they don't show up.   There are some times when you might actually want to sharpen some areas too.  I'll talk more about using selections on the border part of the tutorial.
 



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