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How to Use Marquee Tool in Photoshop?

  • Last Updated : 24 Jun, 2021
Geek Week

Photoshop is the raster-based image editing software which is developed and published by Adobe inc. in which you can edit images, posters, banners, logos, invitation cards, and several types of graphic designing work. The marquee tool is one of the basic and most commonly used selection tools in Photoshop. In this article, we will discuss the marquee tool along with its properties and use.

Marquee tool

Marquee tool is the basic selection tool that can select your Photoshop layer in several shapes, like rectangle, ellipse, single-pixel vertical and horizontal line, square, and circle, etc. By default, the marquee tool makes the rectangular selection. But you can change to another variant of the marquee tool according to your needs.

How to use the Marquee tool?

The use of marquee tool is quite simple:

Step 1. Open a document or image in Photoshop, 



Step 2. Select the marquee tool from the toolbar. It can be located on the left side of the application as you can see in the image above.

Step 3. After selecting a marquee tool, left click (and hold) and drag on the canvas or image layer, then as you expected, it will make the rectangular selection on the canvas or image layer(keep in mind that the layer on which you want to make the selection must be activated in the layer panel ). and if you are not satisfied to your selection then just make another selection(the previous selection will disappear) by left click and drag. 

Step 3. As we know, that by default, the marquee tool makes the rectangular selection. If you want to switch to another variant of the marquee tool then click and hold on the marquee tool option in the toolbar then a small drop-down window will open where you can select another version of the marquee tool.

The variants of marquee tool

Below is the list and explanation of Marquee Tools in Photoshop:

  • Rectangular Marquee Tool (selected by default)
  • Square Marquee Tool
  • Elliptical Marquee Tool
  • Circular Marquee Tool
  • Single Row Marquee Tool
  • Single Column Marquee Tool

1. Rectangular Marquee Tool: Rectangular marquee tool is by default selected marquee tool in Photoshop. Rectangular marquee tool as the name suggests, so obviously you will be able to make rectangular-shaped selection from it. Below is the demonstration of the rectangular marquee tool and if you click and hold alt key your selection will be created from the center of your click. 



2. Square Marquee Tool: Square marquee tool is able to make a square-shaped selection on the image layer. The square marquee tool is the sub-tool of the rectangular marquee tool. If you press shift while making a rectangular selection, it will make a square-shaped selection and if you click and hold the alt key your selection will be created from the center of your click.

3. Elliptical Marquee Tool: By pressing the shift + M you can switch to the elliptical marquee tool. With the help of an elliptical marquee tool, you can make an elliptical-shaped selection and if you click and hold the alt key your selection will be created from the center of your click. 

4. Circular Marquee Tool: Circular marquee tool able to make a circular-shaped selection on the image layer. The circular marquee tool is the sub-tool of the elliptical marquee tool. If you press shift while making the elliptical selection, it will make a circular-shaped selection and if you click and hold the alt key your selection will be created from the center of your click.

5. Single Column Marquee Tool: Single column marquee tool is used to make a 1-pixel wide vertical selection, which is not quite useful but we should know about it. By pressing the shift + M you can switch to the vertical marquee tool.

6. Single Row Marquee Tool: Single row marquee tool is used to make 1-pixel wide horizontal selection, which is not quite useful but we should know about it. By pressing the shift + M you can switch to the horizontal marquee tool.



Options of Marquee Tools

The marquee tools have some options that are very important to know so that we can use this tool effectively in our artwork. The options of the marquee tool are shown in the below image:

Now we will learn each of the options of marquee tool one by one:

1. New Selection: With the help of marquee tools, you can select only given geometrical shapes. If you left-click and drag on the canvas again, then the previous selection will disappear and a new selection will be created. 

2. Add to previous selection: After selecting this option, you can add a new selection to your previous selection. You can add new multiple geometric shapes to your previous selected shapes. 

Below is a simple illustration of this add selection option.



3. Subtract from previous selection: After selecting this option, you can subtract a new selection from your previous selection. Sometimes subtracting from the previous is quite useful for you. You can use the alt key to subtract from the previous. 

Below is a simple illustration of this subtract selection option.

4. Intersection of previous and new selection: This option is very useful for us while making the shapes. The intersection option selects the common selection of both previous and new selections. The shortcut for this option is alt + shift keys on the keyboard. 

Below is a simple illustration of this intersection selection option.

5. Feather: This option is basically used to make the edges of your selection sharper or smoother. The value of the feather is increased, the edges of the selection become smoother.

After increasing the value of the feather. If you make the selection and, move the selection by the Move tool, then you can see the difference between without selected feather and after selecting the feather option as shown in the below image:

6. Style: This option is a very handy option. By default, it set to Normal, but if you click on Normal, then the drop-down menu will open where you can see three types of style Normal, Fixed ratio, and Fixed size. Sometimes you need to make a specific size or specific ratio of selection, then it will be very useful for you. 

  • Normal: This option is used for making freestyle selection. In this option, you are free to make any length and width of selection. Here, length and width are not fixed in this option.
  • Fixed ratio: This option is used for making the selection of fixed ratio. You can choose 1:1, 16:9, 4:3, and other types of ratios.
  • Fixed size: This option is used for making the selection of fixed size. You can put the value of height and width in the input box. After putting the values of height and width, if you click on the canvas or image layer, it will create the selection of a fixed size.

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