Making Selections with the Wacom Graphics Tablet

November 14, 2013 | Lucas Clay | Technique | Comment |

Selecting various parts of an image in Photoshop are one of the most common operations you will perform. Whether it’s to make adjustments to a specific area, create a mask, or creating a brush, learning to make selections is a essential element of learning Photoshop, and using a tablet like the Wacom Intuos can greatly improve your selection skills and abilities thanks to the greater control you have with the pen and the ability to use pressure sensitivity to make finer selections than you might otherwise be able to do with a mouse or trackpad - certainly much easier than with either of these other options.

One of the best ways to learn how to use a tablet with selections is through Photoshop’s Quick Mask option and painting your selection. To get started with this method, select the Quick Mask icon in the toolbar, or press Q:

Making Selections with the Wacom Tablet

In Quick Mask mode, you paint over the area you want to select with Photoshop giving you a visual guide - the default is a red overlay, but you can change this to any color that works for you (and should in order to make it easy to see the selected area).

After entering Quick Mask mode, select the brush tool (B). You’ll want to be sure that the brush is setup to recognize pressure when painting with your tablet, so click on the Brush Properties icon and select Shape Dynamics. Next under Size Jitter, select Pen Pressure from the pop up list

Making Selections with the Wacom Tablet

Now when you paint with your tablet and pen, the harder you press with the pen, the heavier the line will be. A light touch lets you get into those finer areas. With a standard mouse or trackpad, you would need to adjust the brush size constantly (typically with the [ and ] keys).

Making Selections with the Wacom Tablet

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