Marquee Tool: Do it Quick with a Right-Click

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I’m all about quick and easy. Haven’t made a cake without a mix in years. Drive through for my coffee in the morning. Wash-and-wear hair. That applies to scrapping, too. Anything that helps me get the job done quicker and easier is for me!

Adobe does a good job building in shortcuts for us to speed things up. Here are three of my favorite things you can do with a Right click (Mac: Ctrl click) while using the Marquee tool.

Choose the Marquee Tool from the Tool Bar, and in the Options Bar, click on the New Selection icon (the leftmost square at the top).

Marquee Tool

Tutorial:

For Adobe Photoshop Version click here.

Then you can:

Step 1: Transform a Selection

Ever draw a box with the Marquee tool and find it’s not the right size? Don’t start over!

  • Click and drag to draw your selection.
  • Then, just move your cursor inside the selection and Right-click (Mac: Ctrl click). You’ll get a short fly-out menu.
  • Choose Transform Selection, and now your selection will have handles on the corner.
  • Click and drag on a handle to resize it just like you would a photo or element!

Step 2: Feather a Selection

While you’re there, you may want to feather the edges of your selection (make it so they fade out).

  • Click and drag to draw your selection.
  • Move your cursor inside the selection and Right-click (Mac: ctrl click) to get the menu.
  • Choose Feather… and you’ll get a dialog box allowing you to change the amount of the feather.
  • Enter a number in the Feather Radius box and click OK.

Step 3: Draw an Outline Only

Sometimes it’s handy to be able to draw an empty stroke outline without actually making a shape layer.

  • Create a new layer for your stroke outline or make sure you are on the layer that you want to add your stroke outline to. Click and drag to draw your selection. (Or use the Elliptical Marquee tool for a circle/oval shaped selection.)
  • Right-click (Mac: Ctrl click) to get the fly-out menu.
  • Click on Stroke (Outline) Selection… and you’ll get the Stroke dialog box.
  • In the Width box, enter the number of pixels wide you want the stroke to be.
  • Click on the Color box to open the Color Picker to change the color.
  • In the Location box, choose whether the stroke is inside or outside or centered on your selection. (If your stroke is a rectangle shape, you’ll get the sharpest corners by choosing “Inside.”)
  • You can change the blending mode and opacity in the Blending box, but I usually don’t.
  • Click OK, and you’ll have a nice outline!

So next time you find yourself using the Marquee tool, give it a Right-click and see what you can do!

Credits:
Tip of the Week: Do it Quick with a Right-Click by Jennifer White
Photo and background paper: Jennifer White
Software: Photoshop Elements 10

Download a PDF version of this “Marquee Tool: Do it Quick with a Right-Click” tutorial.

Windows: Right click on the link and choose “Save Target As” or a similar command.
Mac: Click on the link to download the file.

 


Choose the Marquee Tool from the Tool Bar, and in the Options Bar, click on the New Selection icon (the leftmost square at the top).

Marquee Tool

Then you can:

Step 1: Transform a Selection

Ever draw a box with the Marquee tool and find it’s not the right size? Don’t start over!

  • Click and drag to draw your selection.
  • Then, just move your cursor inside the selection and Right-click (Mac: Ctrl click). You’ll get a short fly-out menu.
  • Choose Transform Selection and now your selection will have handles on the corner.
  • Click and drag on a handle to resize it just like you would a photo or element!

Step 2: Feather a Selection

While you’re there, you may want to feather the edges of your selection (make it so they fade out).

  • Click and drag to draw your selection.
  • Move your cursor inside the selection and Right-click (Mac: ctrl click) to get the menu.
  • Choose Feather… and you’ll get a dialog box allowing you to change the amount of the feather.
  • Enter a number in the Feather Radius box and click OK.

Step 3: Draw an Outline Only

Sometimes it’s handy to be able to draw an empty stroke outline without actually making a shape layer.

  • Create a new layer for your stroke outline or make sure you are on the layer that you want to add your stroke outline to. Click and drag to draw your selection. (Or use the Elliptical Marquee tool for a circle/oval shaped selection.)
  • Right-click (Mac: Ctrl click) to get the fly-out menu.
  • Click on Stroke (Outline) Selection… and you’ll get the Stroke dialog box.
  • In the Width box, enter the number of pixels wide you want the stroke to be.
  • Click on the Color box to open the Color Picker to change the color.
  • In the Location box, choose whether the stroke is inside or outside or centered on your selection. (If your stroke is a rectangle shape, you’ll get the sharpest corners by choosing “Inside.”)
  • You can change the blending mode and opacity in the Blending box, but I usually don’t.
  • Click OK, and you’ll have a nice outline!

So next time you find yourself using the Marquee tool, give it a Right-click and see what you can do!

Credits:
Tip of the Week: Do it Quick with a Right-Click by Jennifer White
Photo and background paper: Jennifer White
Software: Photoshop CS5

Download a PDF version of this “Marquee Tool: Do it Quick with a Right-Click” tutorial.

Windows: Right click on the link and choose “Save Target As” or a similar command.
Mac: Click on the link to download the file.

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