Make Your Own Selection Using Pen Tool in Photoshop

Posted by on Apr 19, 2013 in Useful Resources | 0 comments

When it comes to making selection in Photoshop, there are very few people know how to use Pen tool effectively to cut out their design. Most people put a stop to their learning when it comes to choosing this tool while others simply ignore this, thinking that this is confusing and complicated. Ultimately their works suffer as they only have to depend on Lasso Tools for selecting and cutting a particular section of an image. While Rectangular or Elliptical Marquee Tool simply cannot do this kind of selection, most of the people being unknown to Pen tool keep themselves glued to Lasso tool for this particular kind of selection.

However, if you spend a little time and go through this tutorial, you would get quite familiar with Pen tool and selecting and cutting the portion of the image as you wish won’t be of any tension any more. You could easily be a Pen Master and would surely wonder how would anyone simply does not know how to use something so simple!

So, let’s get started…

Where to Find Pen Tool?

Before we start using Pen tool, let us take a look at where this tool is located in Photoshop. You can easily find it in the Tool Palette which is grouped within the shape tools.

By selecting this option, you have full control of which section of your image to be cut out and make various changes accordingly. Well, this is one of my favorite methods to isolate an element from its background and put it in some other backgrounds.

Getting Started With Pen Tool

Step 1:  Select a picture first. In this tutorial, the following image is used. Our task is to cut out the whole maple leaf.

Step 2: When the picture is open in Photoshop, we need to zoom in so we can work comfortably. Next, select Pen tool. What we need to do is to click on the outline of the image where we want to cut out as the first anchor point. Once that is done, choose the second anchor point, then hold and drag the point so that it fits the outline of the image.

Next, repeat this process until the whole leaf section is selected.

Step 3: When we arrive at the area where the first anchor point was placed, click on the first point to complete the path. Now, zoom out and notice that the leaf image has been surrounded in path.

Convert Path into Selection

Step 4: In order to convert a path to selection, you need to locate a button containing a dotted circle at the end of the path panel (If you are not sure where the path panel is located, go to the Window tab and select Paths). Selecting and pressing this button would help to turn your image into a selection. Another way to do is to drag and drop your path onto this button.

Step 5: Once the selection process is over, you can copy (Ctrl+C) the portion of the image and paste (Ctrl+V) it on any background you want. When you do that, a new layer will be created and you are all done.

Let me backtrack a little. After you convert the path into selection, you can choose to feather the selection to give it soft focus at the edges. To do this, go to Select >> Modify >> Feather and enter the number of pixels. Then proceed with the copy & paste process.

Pen tool can be used to cut out all kinds of images. I personally feel that this is the best selection tool for both newbie and professionals as it is simple to use and implement on any kinds of pictures. I hope by going through this tutorial, you would challenge yourself by using Pen tool in your image selection. If you feel it is difficult and confusing to use, after a bit of practice with concentration, you will never want to go back using other selection tools anymore.
About the author
Aditi Datta is a Professional brochure designer who loves to craft out new and unique design for her business. She also works in a leading company and also provides helpful and essential design related tips and tutorials through her write ups.

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