An image of a ping-pong paddle and ball on a table. The paddle and ball are selected and have a dotted line border around them.


Grab objects in Adobe Photoshop with the Quick Selection tool.

Use the AI-powered Quick Selection tool to select parts of an image, expand on or subtract from what you’ve selected and make targeted edits.

Grab objects and edit them just the way you like.

Photo editing often starts with selecting an object. Sometimes you need to nudge a background element a little closer to the frame or make a small, targeted edit to one element. Occasionally a picture is just about perfect except for one bit just a tad out of place. Fortunately, selecting elements of an image is easy with the Quick Selection tool.

An image of eggs on a plate. Two of the eggs have been selected and isolated into their own layer.

Select what you want to work with.

Use the Quick Selection tool to quickly grab and move parts of an image or isolate what you want to work on and move it into a new layer.

An image of colourful pieces of wood on a table. Several of the wood pieces have been selected using the Quick Selection tool.

A smart way to select.

The Quick Selection tool looks for edges and contrasts to find objects. It uses Adobe Sensei AI technology to determine where elements in an image begin and end.

How to use the Quick Selection tool.

Using the Quick Selection tool can be as easy as clicking and dragging over an object in three quick steps.

1. Click near your selection:

Click near what you want to select, drag the Quick Selection field around it and hover over it. The Quick Selection tool should select your desired image element automatically. Use the bracket keys to increase or decrease the Quick Selection tool brush size.

2. Drag over your selection:

Click and drag over an object and the Quick Selection tool will attempt to find the edges of a part of an image. Once you’ve selected a section of the image, the selection edges will be highlighted by the dynamic border made of a dotted line, sometimes known as “marching ants.”

3. Add or subtract from your selection:

If you want to add or subtract to the initial selection, you can move the edges. Press the Shift key as you click and drag on Windows or Mac to add to an existing selection. Use Alt on Windows or the Option key on a Mac to subtract pixels from it.

Make detailed changes to your selection.

Fine-tune the edges of what you’ve selected in the Select and Mask workspace.

An image of four lemons. A layer mask has been applied to two of the lemons.

Add and refine a mask.

With a layer mask, you can paint on the image in black or white to add or subtract from the edges. Use black to subtract from the selection and white to add to it. Then use your mask to apply targeted adjustments to a mask.

Feather slider superimposed on a photo of a person with curly hair.

Feather or blur the edges.

Fine edge adjustments are especially useful for jagged edges, certain kinds of patterns or especially small visual elements like fur or vegetation. Follow this tutorial to use features like the Feather slider to select a person’s hair.       

Other Photoshop selection tools.

The Quick Selection tool is only one of several selection options at your disposal in Photoshop.

Select Object or Select Subject tools

Select a single object, like a car or the subject of a photo, like a person in a portrait, in a single click with the help of AI.

Rectangular Marquee tool

Select a rectangular or square part of an image.

Lasso tool

Draw freehand around the area you want to select. Make a selection that’s entirely manual.

Magnetic Lasso tool

Circle an image with the Magnetic Lasso and Photoshop will attempt to find the edges of an object and select them.

Magic Wand tool

Select pixels based on colour, hue or saturation. Select an entire blue sky, all of a green screen or anything else of one colour or similar colours in a colour range.

Adobe Photoshop

Do more with Adobe Photoshop.

Explore selection tools with these tutorials.

Get the granular details about how to use selection tools.

An image showing two pieces of watermelon. One of the pieces of watermelon has been selected using the Quick Selection tool and has a dotted line border around it.

Get more info on quick selections.

Take a deeper dive into all you can do with the Quick Selection tools.


Explore Quick Selection tools

A photo of a small building. The building has been selected and has a dotted lined border around it.

Selections 101.

Learn the basics of selecting objects or parts of an image in Photoshop.


Discover selection tool basics

Find the Creative Cloud plan that's right for you.

Adobe Photoshop Single App

incl. GST

Get Photoshop on desktop and iPad as part of Creative Cloud.
Learn more

Creative Cloud All Apps

 incl. GST

Get 20+ Creative Cloud apps, including Photoshop on desktop and iPad.
See what's included | Learn more

Students and teachers

   incl. GST

Save over 70% on Creative Cloud All Apps.
See terms | Learn more

Purchase by phone: 0508 176 089