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In this menu there is a whole bunch of stuff that governs selection. Howvere, almost all of it is redundent, being replaceble by simple channel edits (e.g. it is easier and quicker to save a selection by simply pressing either a Mask button in the Layers Pallete or a Channel From Selection in the Channels Pallete). There is, howvere, one really vital thing:

Color Range

The Color Range command is a very powerful selection device. Check this out. The image in the middle was taken from a Layer Mask that was made from a selection derived from the Magic Wand Tool. The image on the right was made using the Color Range command.

Color range 01.png

You will notice that the one made with Color Range contains grey values, whilst the one made with the Magic Wand is limited to black and white values. The greater range of information made available by using the Color Range command is the reason why it is often preferable to any other selection route. However, it has its shortcomings:

  • If there are two red circles at oposite ends of the document, Color Range can not select only one of them. The Quick Select tool does not have this shortcoming and neither does its cousin the Magic Wand (through its Contiguos option).
  • It can only make a selection from the entire RGB, not a single layer. for this reason you will often have to rearange your layers before you use it.
  • It often produces very noisy selections that require a lot of cleaning up if they are to be used as masks (in the image above the face selection has extended greatly into the background).

Its use within a selection workflow is covered in the Selection to Mask Workflow page.