Guy asked in Computers & InternetSoftware · 9 years ago

Help Selecting One Color in Photoshop Elements?

I've never used Photoshop Elements in my life before. Is there any way to select everything in an image that is a single color? I have an image that is white text on a black background, and I need to select everything that is white and transplant that to a different image. Is there any way that I can select all of the white from the image? Or do I just have to do my best with freeform select?

1 Answer

  • 9 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    The Magic Wand Tool selects by color. Press w on your keyboard and the Magic Wand's location in the Toolbar will highlight.

    After you click on the Magic Wand, up in the Options Bar (above the workspace) and starting on the left, you'll see:

    1. a little arrow - just about every tool has this little gem. If a tool isn't acting right, click on it and click Reset Tool.

    2. A set of boxes. All the selection tools have these. The single box is for beginning a selection (I rarely use it). The first pair of boxes is "Add To Selection". If this pair is highlighted, you click once and then you can click again and again and again until all the areas you want are selected. I usually only use this pair when I select. The second pair is "Subtract From Selection". Maybe you've selected too much and need to remove some of it. The last pair of boxes is "Intersect With Selection" which I've only ever used 2X in the ten years I've used Elements. It selects the area where two selections overlap.

    3. Then there's "Tolerance". This tells the tool how "strong" it should be. If you have a low number in the Tolerance box and click on yellow, only the yellows closest in value to the yellow you clicked on will be selected. If you have a higher number in the box (40 to 70) and click on yellow, all kinds of yellows will be selected from lights to darks. You usually have to experiment with the tolerance settings to find out what number is going to do the job best. (The Undo button is our best friend;-)

    4. Antialias - gives the border of the selection a hard edge. Normally, it's checkmarked. If you're selecting letter, checkmark it for good edges. Select something with it checked and UNchecked and zoom in after each try and see what it does to the edge.

    5. Contiguous - if this is checked only those pixels (the microscopic boxes that make up photos) that are right next to and touching each other will be selected. If you want to select a color that appears in more than one area in your photo, UNcheck "Contiguous". Since you want all the letters selected, be sure this is UNchecked.

    6. Sample All Layers - only checkmark this if you've got two or more layers and want the same color selected in all of them.

    7. Refine Edge... - After you've made a selection this will be active. If you click on it, you can expand or contract and feather the edge of the selection. Since you've never used the program before, let's wait on this one until your second lesson;-) It helps to make selections that you move into other photos look like they belong by softening the edge so it doesn't look like you've cut it out with scissors.

    On second thought - Here's the second lesson! Since you're going to move the white text, you don't want much of a black halo around the letters. Click on the Magnifying Glass and click and drag a little square around the edge of one of the letters. This will let you see how much of the gray and black is in your selection. Click on Refine Edge... Try the Smooth slider. Now, move the Contract/Expand slider to the left just a little. Your not going to have a perfect edge but you want only white inside the selection and the grays and blacks outside of the selection. When it looks OK to you, click OK. Once you're back in the workspace, click on View>Fit On Screen to see the whole thing again. In the Layers Panel, right click on the Text layer and click on "Simplify". Now, press CTRL+J on your keyboard to put the selection on its own layer. Click on and drag the Background layer to the Trashcan.

    Your text is now on its own transparent layer. If you open the other picture, so you have both of them in the workspace, you can just click and drag the text onto the picture. Use the Move Tool to move it where you want it and to make it bigger or smaller.


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