How to Use the Magnetic Lasso Tool in Adobe Photoshop

The magnetic lasso tool in Photoshop is one of those tools that is regularly overlooked in the selection process. However, this is a mistake as you can use it to do great things once you understand how it works.

In very simple terms, this tool makes selections based on borders. This means you can get a pretty accurate – 80 to 90% – selection. This means that the tool selects the edges of the object as you move the mouse, looking for changes in brightness and color values ​​between the object and the background. When it finds those edges, it sets the perimeter to the edge and attaches itself to it like a magnet. Hence the name of the instrument.

So how to do it? Adobe will tell you it’s the good old “Adobe Magic”. This is not true. There is an area limit where the tool finds edges. What is this limit? Nobody really knows for sure, and Adobe isn’t talking. You have to use the tool’s “hot spot” – a small piece of string that hangs from the bottom of the cursor icon. We’re not big fans of this, so we usually hit Caps Lock to get to the precision cursor, which is a circle with a + sign in the middle. This circle tells us that something in this circle is being looked at and everything outside of it is being ignored.

Where do you use the magnetic lasso regularly? If the selection you want to make has edges that contrast strongly with the pixels around it, do your caution and productivity a favor and choose Magnetic Lasso.

Using Adobe Photoshop’s Magnetic Lasso Tool

There are several ways to get the tool. Select it first in the popup Lasso Tool. It’s downstairs. You can also use the keyboard − Shift-L – to switch between the three instruments.

After you select the magnetic lasso, the tool options will change. They are:

  • Resilience: the value is the distance that the vignette or blurred edge stands out from the edge of the selection. Here’s how to soften the selection border. If this is new to you, try to keep the value between 0 and 5.
  • Width † This is the width of the circle when the button is pressed Caps Lock † You can make it bigger or smaller pressing keys [или] † Please note that this is not a brush. All you do is increase the edge detection area.
  • Contrast † The width of the circle determines where Photoshop finds the edges. This setting determines how much difference there should be in color and contrast values ​​between the object and its background. If you look at the image above, you’ll notice that there isn’t much contrast between the subject’s head and the background. In this case we used a smaller circle and a lower contrast value. Unpleasant change contrast value on the run, Click. (period) to increase the contrast And (comma) to reduce contrast.
  • Frequency † As you drag along the edges, the lasso lowers the anchor points. This value determines the mutual distance.

Once you’ve decided what your options are, get a head start on moving forward and take your pick.

Correct selection made with Adobe Photoshop Magnetics Lasso Tool

No choice is ever “dead”. With the magnetic lasso, there are several ways to correct errors. They contain:

  • Add anchor point: click the mouse button.
  • Delete anchor point: press a button remove or backspace
  • Switch between lasso tools † Click Option/Alt key and click on the border. If you keep dragging, you will switch automatically. If you release the mouse button after clicking the border, you will switch to the tool polygon lasso † Release the key Option/Alt after changing tools to return to the magnetic lasso.
  • Subtract area: You have selected the edge of the donut, but you need to remove the donut hole from the selection. You have several options to complete this task. Press and hold the key first Option/Alt and drag it around the hole. This will switch to Subtract from selection † You’ll know you’re in this mode when a minus sign appears in the cursor († The second way is to choose: Mode in Tool Options and then click the border of the area you want to delete. Make sure to close the selection.
  • Add to favorites † Switch to Add to selection mode by clicking it on the toolbar parameters: † Click on the border you want to add and close the selection.

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