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How to Deselect in Photoshop

Deselecting is a fundamental task of Photoshop, which is used repeatedly in everyday tasks. It is very important to deselect a tool before applying a new effect in the image. If we do not deselect a tool, there is a possibility that the applied effect will be applied only on the selection. Photoshop allows us to make a selection and deselect it without making any changes.

Photoshop provides several tools such as Marquee, Lasso, Magic wand, and quick selection to make a selection based on our requirement. All of these tools can be activated from the toolbox given at the left of the workspace.

In this section, we will discuss how to deselect in Photoshop. Further, we will discuss what the selection tools are and how to make a selection?

Deselect in Photoshop

Following are the steps to deselect a selection:

Step1: Target the selection

Select the document window having the selection; it will be outlined by a dotted or dashed line, also known as marching ants. We have different layers in our workspace; if we target a wrong layer, it will not deselect until we have the right active layer. The selection will be displayed as follows:

How to Deselect in Photoshop

In the above image, the square with the bordered lines is a selection. If we apply any operation at this condition, it will only be applied within this selection, not the entire image canvas. So, it is important to deselect a selection before proceeding further.

Step2: Open the select menu

Now, open the select menu from the top menu bar. It will open a drop-down menu having different select options.

How to Deselect in Photoshop

Step3: Select the deselect option

From the select menu, select the deselect option, which is given 2nd from the top. It will instantly deselect the selection and remove the outlined border.

How to Deselect in Photoshop

Alternatively, we can use the keyboard shortcut Ctrl+D key combination to deselect a selection.

Sometimes it may be complicated to make a proper selection. For example, you are making a selection using the lasso tool or crop tool, then if you want to deselect the active selection and create a new selection. In such a scenario, we can use the deselect tool rather than making an undo operation.

If you accidently make a deselection, do not worry because you can easily recover your previous selection anytime. Photoshop provides a reselect feature to select the previous selection. Let's understand how to reselect using the reselect tool.

Reselect a selection

Follow the below steps to reselect a selection:

Step1: Target the Selection document

The first thing we need to get back our selection is our document window. So, select the document window that previously has the selection from our layer's panel.

Step2: Open the select menu

Now, open the select menu from the top menu bar. It will open a drop-down menu having the reselect option.

Step3: Select the Reselect option

From the select menu, select the reselect option, which is given 3rd from the top. It will instantly reselect the selection and make it outlined.

How to Deselect in Photoshop

Alternatively, we can use ⇧ + ⌘ + D for mac OS or Shift + Ctrl + D for Windows operating system.

However, there is another way to get back your previous selection by undoing your last action. The undo operation can be performed by pressing the Ctrl+ Z keys for Windows and Command + Z for Mac OS, and for multiple steps, we can press the Alt+Ctrl+Z keys. We can also access the undo feature by navigating to the edit menu; we can select the undo deselect option to perform the same action under the edit menu.

Let's understand what a selection in Photoshop is?

What is a Selection Tool in Photoshop?

Photoshop provides several powerful selection tools for selecting a specific region in an image. Using the selection tools, we can capture a specific area in an image to update or modify it without affecting the other area of the image. These tools are very important; while removing the background, fixing the image, etc., we can also delete any specific area by selecting and pressing a delete key.

There are several tools to fulfil our selection requirements. When a selection is made, the selected region will be bordered with a dashed line, also known as marching ant.

The following are few tools that are used frequently to make a selection:

  • Lasso Tools
  • Quick Selection Tool
  • Marquee Tools
  • Magic Wand Tool

Apart from the above tools, we can Press Ctrl+A key combination to select all. By pressing the Ctrl+Click key combination on a layer's thumbnail, we can select a layer.

How to make a selection

The following are the steps to create a selection in an image:

Step1: Open or Create a new document

The first step is to open or create a new document as per your requirement. To open an image, press the Ctrl+O keys and to create a new document, press the Ctrl+N keys. For example, we are opening an image.

How to Deselect in Photoshop

Make sure to unlock the background layer by double-clicking on the image layer.

Step2: Select a selection tool

Photoshop provides a variety of selection tools. Select any selection tool according to the requirement. For example, we are selecting a rectangular marquee tool. It can be found in the toolbox given left to the workspace.

How to Deselect in Photoshop

Step3: Create a selection

Now, create a selection by dragging the cursor on the image canvas. The selection will be displayed within the dashed border. Consider the below image:

How to Deselect in Photoshop

From the above image, we have created a selection using the rectangular marquee tool. Now, we can alter the selection. It will only affect the selected area. It will not affect the other region of the image.

If we want to deselect this selection, just hit the Ctrl+D keys. It will remove the selection.

Similarly, we can create a selection using other selection tools such as the magic wand tool, quick selection tool, elliptical marquee tool, single row marquee tool, etc.


Here, we have discussed how to deselect and reselect in Photoshop. Further, we have discussed how to create a selection using different selection tools.

We can easily select any part of the image using the different selection tools and deselect it by pressing the Ctrl+D keys. Deselecting is very important to avoid accidental changes in our document. If we do not deselect a tool after activating it, it may affect our work, and the applied operation will be applied only to the selected region.

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