Object Selection Tool in Photoshop 2020

Object Selection Tool in Photoshop 2020

One of the new features in Photoshop CC 2020 is Object Selection Tool which is a great addition to selection arsenal in Photoshop. This new tool is automated what will make novice users smile when selecting or extracting objects from their backgrounds. New users will have the most benefit from this tool although intermediate and advanced users can also use this tool to save some time and effort.

In this post, I will introduce to you a new tool in Photoshop CC 2020 which will automate the selection of individual objects to the level of drag over an object or make a loose outline.

Why we have a new selection tool and how to use it

I will try to explain to you why we have a new tool and what is the benefit of using it. Let's start with why?

Why a new selection tool?

First thing first, why we have one more tool in Photoshop? What is the purpose of a new selection tool? Object Selection Tool is introduced to help you when selecting and isolating a single object or its part from the background. Previously introduced singe click selection or Select Subject command is great but it has some limitations.

Select Subject will select everything that it thinks is the main subject including and multiple objects. That is where new tool comes in handy to select only a single object or desired part of an object.
Object Selection Tool in Photoshop 2020

In short, Object Selection Tool is a way to tell Photoshop which exactly a single object you want to select and to get maximum possible help in that task. This tool requires only to loosely outline an object or to drag a marquee over the object or its part. The rest will be done automatically by Photoshop. Sometimes you will get perfect selection while with very complex objects additional work will be required from your side.

Where to Find and how to use Object Selection Tool

Since the new tool is a selection tool it is logically grouped with the Magic Wand and Quick Selection Tool in the Toolbox.

You can activate the Object Selection Tool by clicking on its icon in the Toolbox or using keyboard shortcut letter W. Note: Object Selection Tool is available from the Toolbox in the main application window but also in Select and Mask Workspace.
Object Selection Tool in Photoshop
Object Selection Tool is available from the Toolbox in Photoshop main window but also in Select and Mask workspace.

After activating the Object Selection Tool you will see tool options in the Options Bar.

The very first thing is to choose selection mode in the Options bar: Rectangle or Lasso. The rectangle is for marquee drag over subject while Lasso can be used to manually outline region to select or subtract/intersect with selection.
Selection modes for Object Selection Tool in Photoshop
Selection modes for Object Selection Tool in Photoshop.

You should also pay attention to selection options which are represented using icons in the Options bar. Beside icons to create a new selection, to add, subtract or intersect with the selection you can use standard keyboard shortcuts for that switch:
  • With Object Selection tool active hold down Alt to subtract from selection.
  • Hold down Shift to add to selection.
  • Hold down Alt + Shift to intersect with selection.
Selection options for Object Selection Tool in Photoshop
Selection options for Object Selection Tool in Photoshop.


Sample All Layers should be turned on if you have multiple layers in the document or object to select is split into multiple layers.
Sample All Layers for Object Selection Tool in Photoshop
Sample All Layers for Object Selection Tool in Photoshop.

Auto Enhance is a standard and useful option to instruct Photoshop to further improve selection.
Auto Enhance for Object Selection Tool in Photoshop
Auto Enhance for Object Selection Tool in Photoshop.

Object Subtract option is useful when removing background regions from the current selection.
Object Subtract for Object Selection Tool in Photoshop
Object Subtract for Object Selection Tool in Photoshop.

Select and Mask button will open workspace dedicated to selection refinement if you need to further refine and improve selection.
Select and Mask button from the Options bar when Object Selection Tool is active
Select and Mask button from the Options bar when Object Selection Tool is active.


Product used in this tutorial:
Adobe Photoshop 21.0

Reference:
Make quick selections 

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