How to use the new Select Object tool in Adobe Photoshop 2020

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Experience Level: Intermediate
Bob Flisser
Bob Flisser has authored many courses and books about Microsoft, Adobe and Apple products, and has been a computer trainer since the 1980s.
Introduced in Adobe Photoshop Creative Cloud 2020, the Select Object tool can make quick work of selecting the foreground of an image. In this video and written tutorial, we look at several ways of using it. To follow along, download the kayak and rocks.jpg file or use your own image.

Video Steps

01. Finding the tool

Press and hold the 4th tool down on the toolbar to reveal the flyout, then choose the Select Object tool. This is the tool group that also contains the Magic Wand and Quick Select tools.
Selecting the tool

02. Rectangular selection

The Control Panel on top of the screen has context-sensitive options. By default, the selection mode is set to Rectangle, so try that first.
Control panel
Draw a rectangle around the kayak.

03. Lasso selection

On the Control Panel, click the Mode drop-down and choose Lasso.
Lasso option in drop-down

04. Draw the selection

Now draw a selection around the kayak. Don't try to select it perfectly. Just draw a rough selection around it including some of the beach and water. But do try to draw through the shadow and through the large rocks. That tells Photoshop you don't want them in the selection.

The resulting selection may or may not be the same as with the rectangle. Again, you can use other selection methods and tools to refine the selection. For now, deselect everything.

05. One-click selection

Another way to use the tool is with a single click. Just click the Select Subject button on the right side of the Control Panel. The resulting selection may or may not be different.

06. One-click selection

The final way of using the tool is with masking. Again, deselect everything.

On the right side of the Control Panel, click the Select and Mask button. This displays a selection window with refinement tools. On top is small Control Panel and on the left are tools to brush the mask on and off. And yes, there is an Object Selection tool here!
Masking tool with label callouts

07. Creating a mask

The image starts with everything masked, so click the Select Subject button on top. The kayak becomes selected and the rocks may be selected, also. Use the tools on the left to brush the mask on or off, and use the refinement sliders in the Properties panel on the right for small tweaks.
Masking Propterties panel

08. Applying the mask

When you're done, you need to apply the mask and output the selection. In the Properties panel, scroll down to the bottom and open the Output To drop-down list. The choices are suitable for whether you need to make further refinements or not.
Output settings drop-down choices

09. Viewing the final product

Choose an option and click OK. You will then see the silhouetted subject on a blank layer.
Window with final product
Author:Bob Flisser
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