Articles, Blog

Photoshop Elements Lasso Tool Selection Secrets

February 2, 2020

hi this is Rick from essential-photoshop in this video we’re gonna see how to
make a selection using the Lasso Tool in Photoshop
Elements the Lasso Tool is a selection tool that
lets you draw freehand selections this is a good choice to use when you
don’t have a clearly defined edge of the area that you wanna
select the Lasso Tool shares a space in the toolbox with the magnetic lasso tool and the
polygonal lasso tool if you don’t see the lasso tool in the
toolbox look for either the magnetic lasso tool which looks like this or the polygonal
lasso tool which looks like this now to access the
regular lasso tool it depends on which version of Photoshop
Elements you’re using so I’m using Photoshop Elements 12 right now but if you’re using a version
of Photoshop Elements earlier than version eleven and I’ll bring up Photoshop Elements version
10 here we are inside of version 10 and if you don’t see the lasso tool but
see that Magnetic Lasso Tool or the polygonal lasso tool you can just
click on whatever tool you see and hold down your
mouse and this fly-out window will appear that
shows all three of the different lasso tools and then you can just slide your mouse
over on top of the regular lasso tool release the mouse and the Lasso Tool will become the active tool
so let’s go back to version 12 of elements it works a little
differently we don’t have that flyout menu so if you see the magnetic lasso tool or as we see in this case the polygonal
lasso tool whatever you see there just first
click on it to make sure that it’s the active tool and then go down to the lower left of your window and that’s where the Tool
options panel is and this is it right here if you don’t
see the options panel down there maybe you’ll see nothing so it would
look like this or you might see the photo bin which
looks like that because they all share that same space well then just click on the tool options
right down here to open the two options panel and
then you’ll see all three of the lasso tools
and just click on the regular lasso tool and that will
make it the active tool I’m going to use the lasso tool to select
one of these grapes before we do that I wanna show you some
other ways that the Lasso Tool Works notice when I click and drag with the
Lasso Tool it leaves a line behind it which
indicates the area I dragged over and notice that the
line comes right out at the little part of the Lasso Tool icon that hangs down there’s an
alternative icon that I like to use instead that seems more
precise to me you can change to that icon by turning
on CAPS LOCK on your keyboard when I do that the
cursor change to a crosshair and the dot right in the middle is what
you move over the area that you want to be
the edge of your selection so now when I click and drag you can see
that my line originates from the center of that icon so as you kinda saw there the lasso
tool allows you to draw freehand selections
to close the selection with the lasso tool you can go close to where you started
your selection and then let go of the mouse button and
elements will connect the point where you let go of the mouse to the point where you started the
selection So I’ll undo that and let’s say I wanna select
this grape right here so I’ll try stay as close to the edge
as I can and let’s say when I get over here my finger slips off of the mouse
accidentally and it closes my selection and you might
think that your selection is ruined and you have to start over but with the any of the selection tools
you can hold down the shift key and add to your selection so instead of
starting over with my selection of this grape I can just press down the shift key and
I’ll do that now and notice that a little plus sign
appears next to my cursor indicating then I’m in add to mode and when I like all the shift key the
little plus sign goes away and when you add to your selection
always start with your cursor somewhere inside of your selection notice when I
place my cursor inside the selected area it changes to an arrowhead with the
dotted line rectangle next to it that lets me know that I’m on the inside
of the selected area so I’ll placed my cursor inside the selection and fairly close to where I left off and I’ll press down the shift key my
cursor changes to the lasso tool with a plus sign next to it now I’m in a press down my mouse button
and as soon as I pressed on my mouse I can let go of the shift key which I
just did and notice that the plus sign remains
indicating that I’m still in add to selection mode so you don’t have
to continue holding down the shift key so now I’ll start moving
towards where I left off and I’m gonna overlap the end of my
selection a little bit before the end of it and
then continue selecting the grape the best I
can when I get close to my original starting
point since I’m adding to the selection I’ll trace over a
little of my beginning line just enough to get inside the selected
area like that and then let go of the mouse and the new selection is added to the
original selection to give us a complete selection of the
entire grape it’s really hard if not totally
impossible to accurately follow a line using your mouse that’s one reason
people use a graphics tablet and pen instead of a
mouse but remember your selection doesn’t have to be perfect because as we already saw you can add to
your selection so if I see an area like down here where I’m inside the edges the grape I
can hold on the shift key and go over a little of that end point and then I can just trace
along the edge to add that part on and let go and that adds that to my
selection there’s also a way to subtract from your
selection if you accidentally selected an area that you don’t want like I
did over here you can see this little piece stickin’ out here well I don’t want that to be part my
selection to subtract or take away part of your selection what lasso tool you can press down the option key on a
Mac or the Alt key on a PC watch my cursor when I press and hold
down the option key a small minus sign appears next to my
cursor indicating I’m in subtract from mode and when you wanna take away from your
selection I always recommend that you start in
area your photo that is not currently selected so in this example I’m gonna start out
here I’m outside of my selected area I’ll press down the option key or Alt key and the minus sign appears and as soon as I press on my mouse
button which I’ll do now I can release the option or alt key
which I’ll do and the Lasso Tool will stay in
subtract mode as indicated by the minus sign now I’ll
start dragging towards the area that I wanna remove and I’ll start a little before the area and just follow the edge of the grape
and go a little beyond the bad area and then move away from my selection and as soon as I get out here I can let
go and it will remove that part in the
selection so basically with the Lasso Tool you do the best you can with your
original selection attempt but remember you can always go back in and add on or subtract from your selection to
clean it up and make good make it perfect if you wanna
spend enough time so I hope you found this video on how to
use the lasso tool helpful until next time this is Rick
saying take care


  • Reply Mochan February 17, 2014 at 6:07 pm

    Thank you for an informative video!!!!

  • Reply dawnmminer February 17, 2014 at 11:26 pm

    very nice thanks

  • Reply Bryn Phillips February 19, 2014 at 10:45 pm

    Thanks once again for a very helpful tutorial, especially the tip of using Caps Lock to convert the lasso into a cross

  • Reply Derrick Montgomery February 19, 2014 at 11:57 pm

    Thanks Rick!

  • Reply peersi February 20, 2014 at 6:53 am

    I've never used this tool much before but after yet another very informative video I might start to ! Welcome back from the rotten weather Rick. Whilst you appear to have had cold weather the poor folk in the south of the UK have literally been up their wastes in flood water for weeks  

  • Reply Rosita Herrick February 21, 2014 at 1:49 pm

    Excellent tutorial. Never knew about the cross-hair option. Makes things so much easier. Thank you.


  • Reply Mike Mayhew February 22, 2014 at 9:44 pm

    Hi Rick ,thank you very much for getting back in the saddle, so to speak ,and glad to hear that it was only the snow that stopped you. For a while I thought that it might be something more serious. I sure will look forward to the next tutorial . Mike.

  • Reply Patricia Plake February 22, 2014 at 10:40 pm

    Thanks for this much needed tutorial. It should make my use of the lasso tool much easier so I won't have to dread using it any more.

  • Reply Michael Janavel March 19, 2014 at 12:52 pm

    You really know this program!

  • Reply hank clemente March 27, 2014 at 5:36 pm

    I'm new here and your videos have been very helpful. Do you have a site where I can access all your videos?
    Thanks for all you do …

  • Reply Kathy Rosen June 14, 2014 at 4:47 am

    this the BEST video I have watched. I have been spending hours trying to figure this out and in less than ten minutes you showed what I need to know to make working with the lasso tool painless!

  • Reply InLaws Attic January 21, 2015 at 3:43 am

    THanks so much!!  

  • Reply Sandy Merimee February 1, 2015 at 5:59 pm

    I am learning how to use Lasso tools but I need to know the next step when I get tto the marching ants?

  • Reply Walter Maki March 16, 2015 at 10:52 pm


  • Reply DrinkingStar February 10, 2016 at 2:55 pm

    You placed some very useful information in this tutorial. I learned a few things I was unaware of with this tool. Based on this tutorial, I will be using the Lasso Tool more often. Thanks.

  • Reply Sharon Wiest March 7, 2017 at 7:23 pm

    Great help, Thanks. When using the magnetic tool I don't know how to let it go. It keeps following me, I can't disconnect?

  • Reply Sharon Furze July 27, 2018 at 11:08 pm

    You are a born teacher – getting basics that I need because I'm so new at this. I would like to use the lasso to move an object within the same photo. and I can't figure out how to do that. Is the the tool i would use?

  • Leave a Reply