Photoshop Elements Polygonal Lasso Tool

October 3, 2019 0 By Peter Engel

hi this is Rick from the essential
Photoshop Elements dot com in this video we’re gonna see how the
polygonal lasso tool works in Photoshop Elements there’s
three different lasso tools to choose from in Photoshop Elements all three of them
are used to make selections around areas of your photos but they
all work a little differently there’s a regular lasso tool which looks
like this the magnetic lasso tool which looks like
this and the one that we’re going to look at
today is the polygonal lasso tool and it looks like this all
three lasso tools share the lower left quadrant of the Select Section in the toolbox so here’s the select
section and here’s the spot where you’ll find
the lasso tools only one of the 3 is visible at a time you can see that in my toolbox the
regular lasso tool is visible if I wanted to use the regular lasso
tool all I’d have to do is click on it to make it the active
tool and I’d be ready to go but i wanna make the polygonal lasso
tool the active tool but I don’t even see it here’s how to get
at it if it’s not showing in the toolbox first click on whichever lasso tool is in
that lower left area of the select section so I’ll click on my lasso tool and then go down to the
options panel where you’ll see all three of the lasso tools and click on the polygonal lasso tool to make it active when I do that you can see it now
appears in the toolbox as the active tool if
you’re using an older version of elements any version before version 11 then you
just click and hold your mouse down over the visible lasso tool whichever of the three it is in the toolbox and then all three of
them will appear in a pop-up menu and then you can make the polygonal
lasso tool active by clicking on it from there notice how the icon for the polygonal
lasso tool has a series of straight lines in it
that’s because that’s how it works it makes straight line segments between
the last two points where you click with your mouse so you click once where you want your
selection to start I’ll click here and you don’t need to hold
down the mouse button after you click you just click once
release your finger from the mouse button and move to where you want the line
segment to end as you move your mouse you can see exactly where the line is
you can make the line as long or short as you want and you can rotate it anywhere
on that first point it’ll stay in that flexible kinda liquid mode until you click
again and then it will lock the line segment between those two
points where you click so I’ll click here now when I move
my mouse it comes out from that second point and
i’s the same kind of flexibility and it will stay like that
until I click again and then it locks that line segment and so on
as you click around and if you don’t like the line you
created you can undo it by pressing the Delete key to
remove the last point where you clicked so I’ll press the delete key and now that
just got rid of the point that’s right under my cursor and if I press Delete again it gets rid of that last line segment and if you continue pressing Delete it will
continue working backwards to delete previous points and line
segments I’m gonna click and add some more line
segments here because I wanna show you that there’s a
couple of different ways to close or complete your selection with the polygonal lasso tool one-way is
to double click your mouse elements will create a final straight
line segment from where you double-click to the first point where you click to start your selection so I’ll
double click here and now my selection is closed as
indicated by the marching ants and elements connected my first and last
points with the straight line segment which is
right here I’m gonna press Command-D on a Mac or would be Control-D on a PC to
deselect that so that I can show you the other way to
close your selection with the polygonal lasso tool So l’ll click around to create a few more
line segments and now say I wanna close the selection
I’m gonna move my cursor over towards my starting point and
you’ll see a tiny circle appear soon as I land right on top that starting point
look for that little tiny circle to appear and that
indicates that you’re over your original starting point and once you
see that circle appear if you click once it will close your
selection so I’ll do that now an I’ll deselect that just so you know
there’s two different ways to close or finish off a selection one is
to double-click and the other one is to go over your
starting point and click once so let’s see how it
actually works on this photo I have open I’m using Photoshop Elements 12 for this
video one other thing I want to do quickly before we get started is change my cursor icon from the
polygonal lasso tools default icon to a cross hairs which I like using better to get the crosshairs all I have to do
is press the caps lock key my keyboard and I wanna zoom in a little
closer on my image so I’m gonna press down on the space bar and
the command key on a Mac it would be the spacebar and
the control key if you’re using a PC and the cursor
changes to the Zoom tool I’m gonna move it over my photo and
click a couple more times so I can really zoom in close and see
the edges that I wanna select when you’re done zooming in just
release the spacebar and the command or control keys and the cursor will turn back into the
polygonal lasso tool I’m gonna start here and select the
bottom part of my tower I’ll click once and temporarily my a cursor turns back into the default
polygonal lasso tool but as soon as I drag my mouse it goes back to
the crosshairs and then I’ll go to the next point
before the direction of the line changes which is
right here and I’ll click again and remember to
just click then let go of the mouse as you drag out the line this time I’ll purposely click in the
wrong spot so I’ll just exaggerate it and go way out here to undo that last click I’ll just press the delete key and now I
can click on the right spot which is right
here and I’ll just keep going around the edges of the area that
I wanna select creating those straight line segments if you get into a situation like I
have here where you can’t see the next point where
you wanna click because it’s beyond the window of the the work area in my case I wanna go down to the bottom
of my photo but I can’t see the bottom right now
just press and hold the space bar down and watch my cursor when I do that it
changes into the hand tool and I’m gonna keep holding down the
spacebar and as I do I’ll click and drag with my mouse
and I’m gonna drag up until I can see the bottom up my
photo then I’ll release the mouse button and release the spacebar and my cursor
changes back to the polygonal lasso tool just to clarify you’re not actually
moving your photo you’re scrolling through the live work
area window to get to the part that you wanna see
and when you’re selecting something that goes all the way out to the edge up your
photo like this tower does on the bottom here’s what I usually do I drag beyond
the edge in the photo and click a point out there so you can
see I’m down in that gray area below my photo so I’ll click there and then I’ll go over to the next ah near the next area where I wanna make a point which is right here and i wanna make sure that I stay within
the outside part of my photo in this grey area
and I’ll click another point right there and when I eventually
close my selection elements will know to make the selection
straight across the very edge up the photo even all the line segment I made is not
straight across but it’s kinda slanting upwards or it’s diagonal and now I’ll
just finish clicking the points where I need to to get my to
get that area selected I’ll go over my starting
point once I see the tiny circle I’ll click to complete my selection so
now we saw how the polygonal lasso tool draws nice straight segments but is
there a way to select curved lines with it and the answer is yes you can use the
polygonal lasso tool to follow curved edges by clicking points close together so I’m
gonna deselect this and to show you how to um select the curved area I’m gonna move
up and maybe I’ll zoom out a little bit and I’ll just
select this top part of my tower which kinda looks
like a helmet or like a bell shape so
I’ll start out here and click once and now soon as I get
about here that that segments not straight anymore
so I’ll click here and then I’m gonna make a
couple more clicks so that’s how you get around a curve
areas you click several points close together and now
I’m in kind with a longer straight area so I can go up to about here and click and now I have a curve coming up I’m
gonna make a series of clicks to get around that curve and
it’s kinda like the closer or the more the shape curves more clicks you have to make to make it
look nice and smooth this is kind of a sharp curve down here and now I can just do my straight-line segments for the rest of
that and I’ll finish it off by double clicking right here you can also add or subtract from a
selection what the polygonal lasso tool to add to the selection place your
cursor anywhere inside of the selected area and then
press and hold the shift key and see when I do that I get that little
plus sign next to my cursor then click the mouse once to start the add-on and after clicking the mouse
release the shift key and then you can drag and see I still
have the plus sign next to my cursor indicating then I’m still in the add-on
mode and then let’s say I just wanna add this little
strip of molding below the bell shape So I’ll overlap my original starting and ending point
right where they intersect and I’ll click there and now all I have to do is click around that trim now to finish my add-on of my selection I’m gonna go
right to where these two points intersect and I’ll go inside of my selection again
click once and then just a couple more clicks to
get to my original starting point and once I see the little circle next my
icon I can click and you can see it added
that part to my selection and you could also subtract from a
selection and to show you that I’ll just subtract that part that I just
added to subtract from a closed selection place your cursor somewhere outside of the selected area so I’ll place
mine out here and then press and hold option key on a
Mac or the Alt key on a PC you see a little minus sign appears next
your cursor then I’ll click the mouse once and after
clicking the mouse release the option or alt key as I drag my mouse the minus sign
remains indicating I’m in subtract from mode and then I’m
just gonna enter my selection right at this point and I’m gonna click along the edge where
I want my my selection to ultimately stop at as opposed to at where it stops now which is
right along here now when I get to this point I’m gonna
go outside of the selected area again and since I formed that inside edge those
last few clicks now to get rid of the rest of the
selection I can just do a loose selection around
that bottom part and then when I get up here I’ll double-click
and you can see that it gets rid of that part of the selection
so that ends this lesson on the polygonal lasso tool as we saw it can help us make some very
accurate selections in the areas that we have lots of straight edges and even on curved areas so give this
tool a try and I think you’ll appreciate how quickly you can make straight line selections
until next time this is Rick saying take care