How to Use the Lasso Tool in Photoshop

Last Updated on April 23, 2022 by

The separation of things or themes from their original backgrounds is one of Adobe Photoshop’s most common functions. Everyone wants to be able to swiftly and easily make selections and clip out photographs.

The lasso tool isn’t flawless, but it provides the appropriate balance of speed and ease of use. In Photoshop, the lasso tool is a freehand selection tool. In this freehand method, the user creates the selection border with a mouse or pen pad.

When to use the Lasso Tool

This tool is used to choose irregular forms, patterns, and sections of a photograph to move, erase, increase, and do a variety of other things based on the image’s size limits.

When something needs to be removed quickly, the Lasso tool is a fantastic choice. It’s best used to make a selection along with simple, straight lines or when accuracy isn’t required. Images with rectangular and geometric shapes are ideal use cases. This can be seen in objects like buildings and picture frames.

These tools can be found within the Lasso Tool option or by pressing L on your keyboard. You can hold Shift + L to cycle through each of these tools automatically.

Uses of Default Lasso Tool

It’s the simplest version available. Simply move your pointer around your object to build a route by clicking on a beginning point in your canvas. The Lasso Tool will track your mouse’s exact motions all the way back to where you started. It will then make a selection that you may use to build layer masks or chop the picture out of the backdrop.

Take a quick look at your upper setting bar before you start making a selection and set the feather radius you want for your selection. 

After you’ve made a selection, go ahead and apply a Layer Mask to the layer you wish to remove. The Layer Mask will adopt the shape of the selection automatically, or you may copy the layer by pressing Ctrl+J.

How To Use The Polygonal Lasso Tool

The Polygonal Lasso tool is excellent for selecting items or shapes with sharp angles and extracting items with straight edges. Right-click the Lasso tool to open the fly-out menu, or press Shift + L to scroll through the different tools and select Polygonal Lasso. This tool has a Feather setting that works in the same way as the standard one. The higher the Feather, the softer the selection edge, with a Feather of 0 PX representing a perfectly sharp edge.

By clicking on the image, you can choose a starting point. Then, with the pointer moved to the end of the first straight segment, click again. Each click creates an anchor point for your path, consisting entirely of straight and angled lines.

All that’s left to do now is stretch out your path and click at any points where it changes direction. Continue in this way until you’ve completed a full circle around your object and are back where you started. To finish your path and make it a selection, go back to the beginning and click on it. To indicate an active selection, your Lasso route is turned into marching ants, as it was previously. By right-clicking inside the marching ants from here, you can see the selection options. Simply click the layer mask icon in your layers’ panel to remove the backdrop from your image without harming it.

Uses of Magnetic Lasso Tool Settings

Move the Magnetic Lasso Tool around the object once you’ve set your beginning point, always keeping the edge within the circle’s borders. As you drag, you’ll notice a thin line stretching from the cursor, and Photoshop will automatically snap the line to the object’s edge, adding anchor points as it goes to keep the line in place.

There are a few parameters particular to the Magnetic Lasso tool as well. These options instruct the Magnetic Lasso on which edges to snap to and how frequently. 

  • Width – The width specifies how far ahead Photoshop searches for an edge. By default, the width mouse icon is hidden, so hit the Caps Lock key to reveal it. When working with high-resolution pictures, 50px is often a fine place to begin.
  • Contrast – The Magnetic Lasso works best with dark objects on bright backgrounds or vice versa since it creates an edge based on light and color contrast. Photoshop’s default contrast level is 10%, which means that even a ten percent difference is considered an edge. Increasing this value may help if your object has a lot of contrast.
  • Frequency — The Magnetic Lasso works by dragging your mouse along an edge to place anchor points. The Frequency option controls how frequently an anchor point is established.

About Refine  a Selection

If you need to fine-tune a selection after it’s been produced, there are a few options. You can switch between tools while making a selection, giving you even more control over the final choice.

  • Step 1 : Add to a Selection 

If you need to add to a previously made selection, press and hold Shift. Your mouse cursor will turn into a plus sign. Continue to hold Shift while selecting the regions you want to include in your selection. This can be handy for filling in blanks left by auto-selection.

  • Step 2: Remove an item from a list

Hold down Alt while selecting the segment of the path you want to erase. This can be useful for eliminating and refining areas that auto-select or other selection tools erroneously choose.

  • Step 3: Alternate Lasso Tools

Each of the three tools has its own set of advantages and disadvantages, and you’ll almost certainly need to use more than one while making decisions. Here’s a quick way to get started.

  • To switch to the Polygonal Lasso tool, press Alt and Click while the Magnetic Lasso tool is active and a selection path is active.
  • By holding Alt, clicking, and dragging while not letting go of the mouse button, you can return to the default tool.  
  • To return to using the Magnetic Lasso tool, release Alt and click again.


The tool’s free-form character can be a disadvantage since it allows for a less refined selection and more errors in the course of your selection. Remember to utilize the Lasso tool on items with simple, crisp edges where accuracy is less important, or create quick and basic selections that you may enhance later.

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