Photoshop: Where is the Magic Wand?
The magic wand is a selection tool in Adobe Photoshop that is used to select and isolate objects or areas of an image. This tool is very useful for editing or retouching an image, as it allows you to select and work only on certain areas of the image without affecting the rest.
Where can I find the magic wand?
To find the magic wand in Photoshop, you must first open the application and look at the top of the tools panel on the left side. The magic wand is located in that panel along with other selection tools, such as the pen and the magnifying glass. Once you find the magic wand, you can select it by clicking on it. It is a tool that has an icon in the shape of a wizard’s wand with some stars floating on the tip.
How is it used and what is it for?
Once the wand is selected, you can use it to select areas of an image. To do this, simply click on the area of the image you want to select.
It is important to note that the magic wand is suitable for selecting areas of the image where the tones are homogeneous. It is not the most accurate tool for selecting objects, but it is effective for selecting backgrounds with little tonal variation and separating them from objects in the foreground.
To delete backgrounds, simply select the background with the magic wand and then press the “Delete” key to remove it. This tool is especially useful for creating images with transparent backgrounds.
The magic wand belongs to a group of selection tools called “color selection tools“. Other color selection tools are the magnetic lasso and the quick selection wand.
Alternatives to the magic wand
In addition to the magic wand, there are many other selection tools available in Photoshop.
For example, among the most recent ones we have the object selection tool. This tool is really effective for selecting objects quickly. The better defined the edges of the objects are and the more they are separated from the background, the better it works.
Another popular selection tool is the pen tool. It must be said about pen tool that it is both loved and hated by users. It is one of the most difficult selection tools to handle but it is also one of the most accurate.
History of the magic wand tool
The magic wand was already present in the first version of Photoshop in 1990. Before the program was marketed under the name Photoshop, the tool had already been used in 1987 on a Macintosh computer.
In the first Photoshop demo (https://youtu.be/Tda7jCwvSzg) you can see how they use the magic wand. The first photo edited with the king of image editing software has been titled “Jennifer in Paradise”. John Knoll, then working at LucasFilm, chose a photo of his girlfriend Jennifer from a vacation in Bora-Bora to test the program on a Macintosh. Thanks to the magic wand and the lasso, John manages to separate his girlfriend from the background in just a few steps.
Now that you know where to find the magic wand
It is time to delve a little deeper into some key concepts for using the magic wand correctly.
Notice the toolbar that appears when you select the wand. You can see several icons and selectors with options.
Tolerance: this is one of the most important options, by modifying the tolerance value, between 0 and 255, the tool will select that luminance value of the color we have clicked, both above and below. For example, with a tolerance of 32, the tool will select 32 luminance levels below and 32 levels above.
Other options to select are “Contiguous” and “Anti-Alias“. Selecting contiguous will select adjacent areas of similar color. Selecting anti-alias will smooth the edges of the selection.
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