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Photoshop - The Magic Wand Tool - W

The Magic Wand Tool - W:

Magic Wand Tool

Clicking with the magic wand tool creates a selection on the image. The selection depends on the tolerance setting located on the options bar as well as the contiguous check box.

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With each click of the magic wand tool Photoshop takes a range of color variations based upon the tolerance setting. All pixels that lie within the color range will be selected.

Additional shift+clicking will add more and more to the selection based upon each new pixel clicked.

Magic Wand Selection:

Magic Wand Selection

Sometimes selecting the background pixel color and then using the select inverse command Ctrl+Shift+I or Command+Shift+I will achieve better results than selecting the object directly.

Magic Wand Extraction:

Magic Wand Extraction

A magic wand selection is unpredictable, use of the undo command Ctrl+Alt+Z or Command+Option+Z comes in handy. If a selection goes haywire, just undo it and try again.

Photoshop - Magic Wand Options Bar

Magic Wand Options Bar:

Magic Wand Options Bar

The first four icons decide whether or not each new selection is added or subtracted to the previous selection. Additionally, shift+clicking or alt+clicking - option+clicking for the mac, will add or subtract selections with the magic wand tool.

The tolerance field sets the range of pixels to be selected. A high tolerance will open up the color range a great deal selecting a broad range of pixels based on the pixel color that is clicked. A low tolerance setting restricts the color range allowance creating smaller, precise selections.

The Anti-Aliased check box creates smoother outlines, blending the selection into the background color as the selection is extracted.

The Contiguous check box relates to how the new selection behaves. A contiguous selection will select the entire range of pixels based the tolerance setting and the physical location of the pixels. Having this option checked means that only the pixels that lie next to each other (contiguous) will be selected. Unchecking this box means any and all pixels that lie in the color range will be selected regardless of where they appear on the canvas.

The Use all Layers box indicates that each layer of the project will be taken into consideration when a magic wand tool selection is made.

Magic Wand Options Bar:

Magic Wand Options Bar

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