The refine edge function is the best way to get the best selection you want. Use it especially in conjunction with the magic wand and quick selection tools.

Click Here to View the Refine Edge function video

(length 5:51)

  • Can only be selected when on a selection tool, such as marquee or magic wand
  • Button in the options bar
  • Also under the selection menu
  • Shortcut Alt-Ctrl-R
  • Make sure preview button is checked
  • Hand and zoom tools are available but spacebar hand tool and Ctrl- - and Ctrl-+ still work also
  • 5 viewing options -
  • Standard - just like when normal selecting, shows marching ants. Not very useful
  • Quick Mask - shows transparent mask over all not selected
  • On Black - shows selection on black background, very useful
  • On White? - shows selection on white background, very useful
  • Mask - shows black & white as it would be a mask
  • Radius - softens out selection. increase for soft or gradual transitions in image, decrease for precise selections
  • Contrast - sharpens edge of selection when increased
  • Smooth - rounds corners and generally smooths out jaggies
  • Feather - feathers or softens edges equally throughout selection
  • Contract/Expand - increases or decreases amount of area selected. Downfall is that it is very limited