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Photoshop Elements: Inverse Selections & Removing an Object from the Background

Version: 2.0
Objectives: Learn how to take an active selection and invert it to create a quick selection around what would normally be a more difficult selection.
Tools & Techniques:Selections, Magic Wand Tool, Selecting Background, Removing an Object from the Background, Inverse Selections

One of the more common techniques when working with digital images is to remove an object from the background and place it over a new background. Depending on your subject, this can be an easy task or a more challenging one.

In this example we'll take a look at removing an image from its background using the Magic Wand Tool and creating Inverse Selections.

Step 1: Getting Started

We're starting with an image of a man and a laptop on a white background. We want to create a selection around the man but that would require a good amount of work. Instead, we can create a selection around the area we do not want: the background.

  1. Select the Magic Wand Tool
  2. Set the Tolerance to a lower number, I used 5 in this example
  3. Select Anti-Alias
  4. Deselect the Contiguous option if it is currently selected
  5. Click once in the white area to select all solid white areas of the image
Man and Computer

Step 2: Selecting the Inverse

Now the background is selected, we just need to "reverse" the selection to select everything but the background.

  1. Go to Select > Inverse to reverse the current selection
  2. Next, go to Edit > Copy to copy the selected subject
  3. Open a new image you'd like to place the subject over
  4. Go to Edit > Paste to paste the subject over your new image

Your final image:

Final Image




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