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How to make a selection using Pen Tool in Photoshop

I will show you the basics of creating paths with the Pen Tool in Adobe Photoshop. We will draw a path and turn it into a selection.

  Author: mat | Version: CS5 | 7th January 2012 |  

Open a picture of an random object, where you will try and make a selection using Pen Tool.


Choose the Pen Tool.

I could make a selection using one of the selection tools but I want to show you how the Pen Tool works and this option is very usefull when you need a great accuracy at selecting objects, then this is a weapon of choice.


Make sure you have Paths selected (see picture).


Click somewhere on the edge of the object.


Now click little further down the edge of an object and hold your mouse button ...


... drag the mouse to create a curve that fits the object (see picture).

As you noticed a kind of a leverage handle appears, which you use to make curves.


Now click  further on the edge, hold the mouse button ...

Point of the Pen Tool is creating curves, so you would want to click it where you think the curve will end.


... and again drag your mouse to create a curve.

Don't worry if the curve does not fit your object perfectly, we will correct this later on.


Now go the whole way around your object like I did until you reach the starting point and click it to close the path.

A small eye appears at the point where you started if you run your mouse over that point.

As you can see my path doesn't fit the apple perfectly, but as I said we will now correct this situation.


Now choose the Convert Point Tool.

Right click the Pen Tool and choose Convert Point Tool.


Click the line on the area where you want to correct the curves to make them fit perfectly.

A little handle appears, now click and try dragging it into different directions to make the curve fit to your object.

And when you're done go to the next point ...


... and continue doing so.

It's really trial and error kind of a deal, sometimes you have to go back to the point you already adjusted because you messed it up at the previous point.


 After a couple of brain meltdowns and heavy swearing your object is now surrounded by a perfectly fitting path.


Let's now make a selection out of the path.

Right click your object and choose Make Selection...


Enter a Feather Radius of about 2 pixels for a smoother selection and click OK.


And we are done!

I've lost my nerve a couple of times when learning how to make curves fit, but eventually you get the hang of it and realize it's a great tool that can open  a whole new world of Photoshopping for you.

If you got stuck, please don't hesitate to use our forum.

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activedetaili, 20th Jun 2024, 1:22 PM
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