Rectangular Marquee Tool (Rectangular Selection)

In this lesson we will look at one of the most commonly used and simple selection tools — the tool. Rectangular Marquee (Rectangular Selection), – one of the simple selection tools in photoshop, along with Elliptical Marquee (Oval selection) and Polygonal Lasso (Polygonal Lasso). It is designed to create a selection based on simple geometric shapes. As the name implies, the tool Rectangular Marquee (Rectangular Selection) convenient when you need to draw a selection in the shape of a rectangle or square.

You will find a tool Rectangular Marquee (Rectangular Selection) located at the very top of the toolbar in Photoshop. This is a tool with an icon that looks like the outline of a square. Click on it to activate it:

Rectangular Marquee Tool (Rectangular Selection)

If you use Photoshop CS4, as I do, or Photoshop CS3, and your panel is installed as a column, tool Rectangular Marquee (Rectangular Selection) will be the second icon on top:

Rectangular Marquee Tool (Rectangular Selection)

Drawing rectangular selections
Here is a photo of several wooden cubes:

Rectangular Marquee Tool (Rectangular Selection)

See that big red cube at the top? Suppose I want to change its color — the simplest thing to do. Now, if it was Star Trek, I would just have to say: “Computer, highlight the red cube at the very top,” and then: “Change the color to purple” or some other color.
Unfortunately, the reality is still far from science fiction, but this does not mean that life today is unbearably difficult. Far from it! Photoshop is not able to recognize a wooden cube, since all it sees are pixels. But not you and me, we see it, and we see that this is a clear rectangle shape, which means that this selection task is great for the tool. Rectangular Marquee (Rectangular Selection).
To begin, I will choose a tool Rectangular Marquee (Rectangular Selection) in the toolbar, as we saw earlier. You can also select tools using their short keyboard commands. Pressing the letter M on the keyboard will immediately invoke the tool. Rectangular Marquee (Rectangular Selection). Then, to start the selection, I will click in the upper left corner of the cube. Holding the mouse button, I head to the lower right corner of the cube:

Rectangular Marquee Tool (Rectangular Selection)

If you find that you have begun your selection from the wrong point, it is unnecessary to start all over again. Just press the spacebar and drag the mouse to move the selection to where it is needed. When you’re done, release the space bar and continue to create the selection.
In order to complete the selection, I just need to let go of the mouse button. Now the wooden cube is selected (or more precisely, the pixels that form the cube we see) are selected, and a selection outline appears in the document window around it. Any editing that I do at this stage will apply only to this cube and to no other:

Rectangular Marquee Tool (Rectangular Selection)

To change the color of the cube, we use Photoshop image correction. Hue / Saturation (Hue / Saturation). To select it, I go to the menu Image at the top of the screen where I choose Adjustments, and then Hue / Saturation (Hue / Saturation):

Rectangular Marquee Tool (Rectangular Selection)

This action will open a dialog box. Hue / Saturation (Hue / Saturation). I think I will change the color of the cube to orange. I know, I spoke earlier about purple, but now, since I had a few minutes to think about it, I think that a beautiful rather bright orange color would be the best choice. Changing the color is easier than ever by moving the slider Hue (color tone) left or right until you get the desired color. I move the slider to the right to a value of 28 to select orange. Then, to add a bit of saturation, I will move the slider Saturation right to a value of about +25:

Rectangular Marquee Tool (Rectangular Selection)

When I am satisfied with the new color, I will click OK to exit the dialog box. I no longer need my selection, so in order to remove it, I go to the menu Select at the top of the screen and choose Deselect (Deselect):

Rectangular Marquee Tool (Rectangular Selection)

A faster way to remove a selection is with the short command Ctrl + D, but any method is suitable. Now, without the selection outline, we can see that the change through correction Hue / Saturation (Hue / Saturation) only the area inside the rectangular selection was exposed. The former red cube turned orange, while the rest of the photo remained unchanged:

Rectangular Marquee Tool (Rectangular Selection)

Selection of wooden cubes with the tool Rectangular Marquee (Rectangular Selection) it was simple, but what if the object that we need to select is absolutely square? This is the next thing we will consider!

Create square selections
Most recently, we saw how easy it is to select a rectangular object or a plot in a photo with the tool. Rectangular Marquee (Rectangular Selection). But what if you need to pick out something absolutely square? Is there a way to convert a selection outline to a square? Not only is there a way to do this, there are even two of them, although one of them is faster than the other.
Here is a photo of several tiles in grunge style, which I opened in Photoshop:

Rectangular Marquee Tool (Rectangular Selection)

Suppose I want to select a tile in the center, for example, I want to use it as an interesting background or texture to create some kind of effect. Since the tile is clearly square, we will need to set our selection to be square. To begin, consider a longer way.
Tool Rectangular Marquee (Rectangular Selection) must be active at all times. Options Bar (settings panel) at the top of the screen will display the settings specified for this tool. One of the parameters is called Style, and by default it is set to Normal, this means that we can create a selection of arbitrary sizes. To turn the selection into a square, first change the parameter Style on Fixed Ratio (Fixed Proportions), then enter the value 1 in both parameters Width and Height (1 is the standard value for length and width, so you may not need to change it):

Rectangular Marquee Tool (Rectangular Selection)

This action changes the selection in width and height in a 1: 1 ratio, which means that the width and height of our selection will always depend on each other, that is, now we can easily draw the perfect square. I left-click in the upper corner of the tile to begin creating a selection, just as I did before, and without releasing the mouse button, I move towards the lower right corner of the tile. This time, thanks to the parameter that I set in Options bar (Settings Panels), the outline of my selection is converted to a square:

Rectangular Marquee Tool (Rectangular Selection)

I repeat, you do not have to do it all over again, if suddenly you started your selection from the wrong point. Simply hold down the space bar and move your selection to a new location, then release this key and continue to create the remaining selection.
To complete the selection, I release the left mouse button, and we can observe in the document window that the highlighted square tile in the center is ready for any transformations that I decide to perform:

Rectangular Marquee Tool (Rectangular Selection)

The only problem with using this method of converting a selection into a square is that the parameters in Options Bar (Settings Bar) “Loyal”, that is, they will not automatically switch to their default settings the next time you want to use this tool. I can’t even tell you how many times I tried to create a rectangular selection, while I had a selection converted to a square or a shape with some other fixed scale, and all because I forgot to change the parameter Style back to Normal. Therefore, before applying any transformation, let’s change our parameter back to the mode right now. Normal:

Rectangular Marquee Tool (Rectangular Selection)

Quick command on the keyboard
A much better way to convert a selection to a square with the tool Rectangular Marquee (Rectangular Selection) – use a quick command on the keyboard. Left-click at the starting point and start creating a rectangular selection as usual, then hold down the Shift key while creating a selection. As soon as you press the Shift key, you will see that the selection outline has turned into a perfect square. Hold down the Shift key until the selection is complete. Release the mouse button to complete the selection, then release the Shift key.
The sequence of actions you do is very important. If you release the Shift key before you release the mouse button, the outline of your selection will again take a rectangular shape, and you will again have to press the Shift key to convert it to a square. Also, if you hold down the Shift key before starting the selection, you will turn on the “Add to Selection” mode, which is not what we need now, and may also lead to an undesirable result if you already have one active selection, and you trying to start another new one. So, remember, to turn the selection into a square using the keyboard shortcut, first click to set the starting point and start creating the selection, then hold down the Shift key. Release the mouse button to complete the selection, then release the Shift key.
The next thing we look at is creating a rectangular or square selection from the center.

Creating a selection from the center
So far, we started all our rectangular and square selections from the upper left corner of an object that we selected, and in most cases it worked well. But there is no rule that says that you should always start the selection from the top left corner. In fact, Photoshop provides us with a simple shortcut on the keyboard that allows us to create a selection from the center rather than from the corner.
Click on the starting point in the center of the section that you need to select with the tool. Rectangular Marquee (Rectangular Selection), and start creating your selection, then hold down the Alt key and continue creating it. As soon as you press the Alt key, the outline of your selection will begin to stretch in all directions from the starting point. Continue to create your selection from the center, release the mouse button to complete its creation, then release the Alt key.

Rectangular Marquee Tool (Rectangular Selection)

Again, the sequence of actions performed is very important. If you release the Alt key before you release the mouse button when the selection is complete, the selection outline will return to its original position and will start from the corner. You need to press and hold the Alt key again to switch back to the center. Also, if you press and hold the Alt key before setting the starting point, you will switch to the “Remove from selection” mode, which we do not need now and can lead to undesirable results if you already have one active selection and you want create another new one. The correct order is to create rectangular selections from the center — click to set the starting point and create a selection, then hold down Alt and continue to create a selection. Release the mouse button to complete the selection, then release the Alt key.
You can also create a square selection from the center. Just add the Shift key to a quick command on the keyboard. Click in the center of the square object or area you want to select, and start creating your selection, then hold down the Shift + Alt keys, which will transform the selection outline into a perfect square and make it stretch in all directions from the specified point. When you’re done, release the mouse button, then release the Shift and Alt keys.

Quick delete selection
When you have finished working with the selection, and you no longer need it, you can deselect the selection through the menu Select at the top of the screen by choosing Deselect (Deselect), as we saw earlier, or you can use the quick command on the keyboard Ctrl + D. Or, to remove the selection of a rectangle or square more quickly, simply click somewhere inside the document window while the tool is active. Rectangular Marquee (Rectangular Selection).

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