An image of a person doing a backflip. The person has been selected using the Magic Wand tool.

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How to use the Magic Wand tool.

Select pixels faster than you can say “abracadabra” with one of the most unique selection tools you’ll find in Adobe Photoshop.

What does the Magic Wand tool do?

The Magic Wand tool automatically selects an object or area of your image, using machine learning to discern what you might be trying to select. If you click on the sky, it selects the sky; click on a person’s face, and you have the entire face selected in just seconds.

Magic Wand tool menu icon superimposed on a photo of a person doing acrobatics. The sky around the person has been selected using the Magic Wand tool.

Perfect for beginners.

For first-timers, the Magic Wand tool in Photoshop is a great way to start selecting areas of your image and adjusting them with targeted editing tools like layer masks.

Sample Size, Tolerance, and Anti-alias settings superimposed on a photo of a person doing acrobatics. The person's pant leg has been selected using the Magic Wand tool.

Powerful enough for experts.

The Magic Wand isn’t just for beginners — experts can customize settings like tolerance, sample size, and anti-aliasing to get precise control over the way that the selection tool “thinks.”

Sample All Layers setting superimposed on a photo of two people doing acrobatics. A painting in the background has been selected using the Magic Wand tool.

Custom-fitted selection.

If you’re not happy with how the Magic Wand is making selections, you can control how aggressively it selects, which layers it focuses on, and more.

Magic Wand tool settings superimposed on a photo of a person doing acrobatics. The person's shirt and a painting in the background has been selected using the Magic Wand.

Creative problem-solving.

Sometimes selection work isn’t straightforward. The Magic Wand tool gives you the ability to add to existing selections, subtract from them, or intersect them — pick the solution that works for you.

Sample projects for the Magic Wand tool.

The Magic Wand lives up to its name — here are just a few examples of how you might use this quick selection tool.

A photo of a person doing a handstand outdoors. The person has been selected using the Magic Wand tool.

Select your subject.

In a single click, select a person, place, or thing in the project you’re working on. After that, you can refine your selection with other tools if you need to.

A photo of a person dancing. The background behind the person has been selected using the Magic Wand tool and the color of the background has been changed.

Change colors.

Have a door on a house you want color shifted? Want to change the color of the sky? The Magic Wand tool can select what you want fast so you can remove it, change it, or edit it as you please.

How to use the Magic Wand tool.

Here’s how to use the Magic Wand tool for selections.


1. Select it:

Select the Magic Wand tool in the toolbar, and make sure the layer you want to select is active.


2. Click it:

Click where you want, and a new selection will appear automatically.


3. Edit it:

Remove areas from the selection by clicking Subtract from the Selection icon in the Options bar. Or switch to Quick Mask mode in the sidebar and edit with other tools like the Eraser tool.


4. Change it:

If your selection wasn’t quite right, you can deselect with Command+D on Mac or Ctrl+D on PC.


5. Invert it:

Invert a selection to reverse what you currently have selected. Try it by clicking Select › Inverse.


Adobe Photoshop

Do more with Adobe Photoshop.

Learn more selection secrets.

Become a selection genius with these tutorials.

An image showing silhouettes of four people standing in a barren landscape.

Shift your photos.

Photoshop gives you many tools to add and remove objects from your images, and this tutorial will show you how to do it easily.

An image of a fish that has been overlaid on an image of a person.

Overlays and photo editing.

Combine multiple images and selections into one image to create beautiful artwork. Learn how to make different types of overlays in Photoshop.

An example of the Crop tool being used to crop an image of a person sitting in a forest.

Snip, edit, crop.

Cropping photos is another foundational skill within Photoshop. Learn different methods for highlighting what matters in your image with crop tools.

A photo of a person. Half of the background behind the person has been removed.

Clear the canvas.

Removing a background layer from a photo is easy when you follow the steps in this Photoshop tutorial.

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