Selections Logo


Selections allow you to modify a defined area of an image instead of the whole image. You can identify a selection by the dashed blinking line called the marquee. Paint Shop Pro has 3 basic tools designed for just about any type of selection you might have in mind. In addition there is another method that can be used in Paint Shop Pro 6 & 7 using vectors.

Some required terms you will need to understand.

Marquee is the black and white dashed line surrounding a selection. It is also referred to as 'marching ants'.

Feather set the sharpness of a selection's edges by fading a set width in pixels along the edge. It helps to blend a selection into another image. The higher the value used the softer the transition.

Antialias is similar to feather but more precise. It produces a smooth edge by partially filling in pixels along the edge, making them semi traparent. It will help stop the 'jaggies'

Sample Merged when checked will select all layers and when un-checked will select from the active layer only.

Match Mode makes a selection based on either the RGB, hue, brightness or all pixels. All pixels will not select transparent areas.

Tolerance controls how similar pixels have to be based on the match mode settings before they are selected.


The Tools

sel icon The Selection Tool will select precise shapes, they are square, rectangle. circle and elliptical. It also has settings for feather, antialias and sample merged on the control palette.

lasso iconThe Freehand Tool will select irregular shapes with a freehand, smart edge, and point to point methods. It also has settings for feather, antialias and sample merged on the control palette.

wand iconThe Wand Tool will make selections based on color, hue or brightness. The control palette for the wand has match mode, tolerance and feather options the control palette.

mover iconThe Mover Tool will allow you to move the marquee. To do this just hold down the right mouse button inside the marquee and drag the marquee where you want it, then release the right mouse button.

Note: Both feather and antialias must be set before the selection is made. By holding down the shift key you are able to add a new selection to an existing one. If you hold down the Control key it will allow you to remove a new selection from an existing selection.

Click HERE for Examples



Edit Menu
Edit Menu

You can perform any of the functions listed in the edit menu options to a selection or layer. Keep in mind that your copied selection will be placed in a rectangular area regardless of its shape.



The Selection Menu
Selection Menu
Select All and Select None do just that they either select the complete image or turn off all selections.
From Mask will allow you to select the active portion of a mask. Click on From Mask to see the Mask Method tutorial.
From Vector Object * PSP 7 only
Invert will change from the initial selection to its surrounding area.
Modify allows for the following functions as shown below.
Modify Selection Options

Contract will shrink a selection by a number of pixels you pick.

Expand will expand a selection by a number of pixels you pick.

Feather - see explanation above.

Grow Selection expands a selection to include adjacent areas of a similar color using the wand's tolerance settings.

Select Similar will select all colors that fall in the range of the wand's tolerance settings.

Transparent Color will remove areas from a selection of a specific color. The areas are set to transparent.

Matting is used to remove extra pixels surrounding the border of a selection when it is moved. This is really necessary when the selection has been feathered or anti-aliased. Layers can also be matted as well as selections. This option will only be available on a floating layer or selection and in 24 bit of grey scale modes. It has the following options as shown below.

Defringe Options

Defringe - will bleed non-feathered pixels in the selection outward and over the "jaggies" in the feathered parts of the selection. This is used when the selection is made on a colored background. You will also have an option to select the width of the defringe option.
Remove Black Matte/Remove White Matte - This is used when you copy and paste an anti-aliased or feathered selection from a black or white background and paste it to a colored background. The black matte will remove the black pixels and the white matte will remove the white pixels.

Hide Marquee turns the blinking edge off or on. When it is hidden it is still in effect.
Convert to Seamless Pattern is used to make a rectangular selection into a new seamless pattern image. It will use the area around the selection to eliminate the appearance of seams. If the selection is too close to the edge of the image you will receive an error message and have to select a smaller area or one more centered. You will then need to choose the command again.
Promote to Layer will move a copy of your current selection to a new layer and the orginal layer is not affected.
Load/Save to Disk or Alpha Channels - you can save a selection to a disk file or an alpha channel. If you save to disk you can use the selection in another image as well as the image you are working on by loading it back from the disk file. If you choose an alpha channel and save your image as a psp file the saved selection will be saved as well and can be loaded back from the alpha channel.
Float/Defloat a floating selection temporarily rests above the image or layer and can be modified without changing the original image or selection.

In addition to all of the previous methods Paint Shop Pro 6 introduced vector tools which can also be used to make selections with. I've added a tutorial on doing selections using these methods. Click here to see this tutorial.


Additional Notes: Selection of a part of an image is not limited to these tools as there are other methods such as masks to also remove or select a portion of an image. I highly recommend that you make these and other Paint Shop Pro 5/6 functions part of your normal tool box for graphics editing.


Reposted by permission of Joe Cilinceon, April 2002

Dizteq 1999-2002