Photoshop Tip – How to increase and decrease the size of a selection

Sometimes after you make a selection in Photoshop, you may find that you want to make that selection a little bit larger or possibly smaller. You could either redraw your selection, or you can easily make that selection a few pixels larger or smaller by choosing Select > Modify. You can do this regardless of which selection tool you used to begin with.

Note: If you’re new to making selections in Photoshop, check out my beginner’s guide to selections in Photoshop.

1.To make your selection bigger choose Select > Modify > Expand

2.To make the selection smaller, choose Select > Modify > Contract.

3. Enter a value for the number of pixels you want to modify by. This generally works best if you Expand or Contract by only a small number of pixels at a time (i.e. 4 or 5 pixels at most). Otherwise the edges of the selection won’t stay sharp and pointed at the corners, they have a tendency to turn a little roundy on you.

Expand A Selection in Photoshop

Keeping the corners of your selection crisp

The problem with expanding a selection by more than 4 or 5 pixels is that you’ll notice that the corners start to become round and your selection becomes a bit useless.

selectionexpand1

If you need to make your selection much bigger, then here’s a better way to do it..

1. Make your selection using any of the selection tools.

Photoshop-Tip-Make-Selections-Laughing-Lion

2. Press Ctrl+T (win) or Cmd + T (mac) to bring up the Free Transform bounding box.

selectionexpand2

3. Simply click and drag one of the bounding box handles and pull your selection to the required size. Press Enter or Return to complete the transformation and voila! Nice crisp corners on your expanded selection.

selectionexpand3

You can transform a selection of any shape in this way. I’d love to hear your selection tips, any you’d like to share?

If you found this Photoshop tip useful, please share it. Thank you very much 🙂

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Jennifer Farley

Jennifer Farley is an illustrator, designer, author and design teacher based in Ireland. She has been teaching design for over 14 years and helps people learn Adobe Photoshop, Lightroom,Illustrator and graphic design skills to improve their job prospects and their business.

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