Feb 02, 2016

How to Use the Lasso Tools in Photoshop

In today’s episode, we show you How to Use the Lasso Tools in Photoshop.  We’re talking about the Magnetic, Standard and Polygonal Lasso Tools!

Standard Lasso Tool

The Standard Lasso Tool has it’s advantages and disadvantages.  It’s not great for areas that require a very precise, calculated selection.  The standard lasso tool is great for areas that are more of random selections.  If there is an area of your image or if you want to create an area of your image that doesn’t require a precise selection, the Standard Lasso Tool is the best Tool to use.  Selecting things like mountains or puddles are perfect examples of when the Standard Lasso Tool would come in handy.  In our example, we Color the inside of a flower with the standard lasso tool.  It’s perfect for random, unpredictable areas of your image.

Polygonal Lasso Tool

The Polygonal Lasso Tool will allow you to create polygons.  This is great for straight Lights and sharp corners.  When selection out buildings or different types of architecture, the Polygonal Lasso Tool is a great choice!  In our example, we select the Outline of the tv in our image.  Now because this is a selection, we group it with a New Layer and place an image inside our tv selection.  With a bit of transforming and perspective matching, we were able to place an image on the tv seamlessly.

Magnetic Lasso Tool

The Magnetic Lasso Tool is perfect for tracing around an object.  The Magnetic Lasso Tool basically finds the edge of the selection you are trying to make.  There are more options involved with the Magnetic Lasso Tool.  From the Width, Contrast and Frequency, the Magnetic Lasso Tool gives us enough variety to use the tool to our advantage.


In conclusion, all of the Tools in Photoshop can be extremely useful when used correctly.  The Lasso Tools are no exception.  They are commonly used to create selections.  Rather that selection be a spill on the carpet, which in that case you’d use the Standard Lasso Tool.  Or if that selection requires getting around corners and dealing with straight lines, which in that case you’d use the Polygonal Lasso Tool.  Or if it’s just an object in your image that you want to cut out.  In that case the Magnetic Lasso Tool might be the perfect for the job.  These three Lasso Tools are great for creating any type of selection that you desire.


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  • user image

    Hi Aaron, great tutorial as usual…sometimes if I am using the magnetic tool, I find
    that if I turn on Caps Lock it changes the shape of the curser to cross hairs in a circle
    and is easier to see.

  • user image
    Josh Ashdown

    You know, at first I didn’t think a tutorial on the lasso tool would be worth watching but, I was wrong. That will teach me to doubt you Aaron. You always deliver great stuff and this was on par with your other work. Thanks.

  • user image

    firstly i am glad to know you. i’m learning a lot of things. i want something from you. can you add image which used in tutorial video. it is more benefitial for us. thank you phlearn family and Aaron nace 🙂

  • user image

    Intermediate and darn I say even advanced PS users will find this video worthwhile. I’m on the computer nearly everyday working in PhotoShop and often use the Lasso Tools. This tut was a good reminder on using the Lasso Tools, plus Arron provides a couple of very helpful (hidden) actions I didn’t know about. As always … Aarons enjoyable to watch and helpful.

  • user image
    Alex Schroeder

    When would you switch to the pen tool to make a selection?