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How to use the magic wand tool in Photoshop

Here is a guide on how to use the magic wand tool in Photoshop, which works great with simple shapes and backgrounds.

Source: https://www.theverge.com/2019/12/16/20806997/adobe-photoshop-for-ipad-update-select-subject-tool

Step 1: Open your image in Photoshop.

Step 2: Duplicate the layer, which keeps a non-destructive version of the image available for reference. In the layer panel, left-click and drag your background image down to the Create a new layer icon. Click on the layer-visibility icon for the background layer. This will make the background layer hidden.

Step 3: Locate the magic wand tool in the tools panel on the left side. Note that depending on what workspace you are in, the organisation of the tools may look different. If you are a first-time, it is recommended to use the Essentials workspace, which is the Photoshop default. In this layout, the fourth tool down is where the magic wand is located. To find it, you may need to right-click to expand this tool submenu, then select Magic Wand.

Step 4: Now, make sure that you have selected your visible layer.

Step 5: Use the magic wand and click on the background that you want to remove. If your selection did not grab the full background, go to the top and use the tolerance setting to refine the tool selection abilities. This number will range depending on your image. Start with a lower tolerance number and work up by using the tool, unselecting by using command + D, adjusting tolerance, and then using the tool again. Repeat this until the background is fully selected.

Step 6: Once the tolerance is set accordingly, you can add additional selections as needed. For such elements, go to the magic wand menu at the top and click on Add to selection.

Step 7: Zoom in and click on the additional areas of the background that need to be removed.

Step 8: Now at the top, go to the Select drop-down menu.

Step 9: Go down and click on Select and Mask. This will open the select and mask workspace. A checkered background is transparent and is what is being removed or masked by your selection. If your background is showing and the object is missing, go to the right menu and click on Invert.

Step 10: Under the global refinements menu, you can make adjustments to your selection. Adjust shift edge and feather as needed to make a clean edge.

Step 11: Go down to Output Settings. Make sure that Output To has Layer Mask selected and click on OK. Your background is now removed and you can save this as a PNG file type, which keeps the background transparent and saves a cutout version of the image.

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