Blur a Background in Photoshop - - Windows Tips and Tricks with Geek

Sunday, June 27, 2021

Blur a Background in Photoshop


Select the Background

Before you blur the background, you must select it. There are a few ways to do this.

Use the Magic Wand

1. The Magic Wand is fourth from the top in the Tools menu. The Magic Wand tool gives you the quickest and easiest way to select the background. This method works best on a photo with a clear background that contrasts with the foreground.

The Magic Wand in Photoshop

2. Select the Magic Wand and click the background. Press and hold Shift to select additional elements. If the tool doesn't select much of the background, increase the Tolerance at the top of the screen.

The Tolerance setting for the Magic Wand

Tip: If you don't see the Tools menu, select Window > Tools from the top menu bar.

Use the Lasso

1. If the background is too complicated for the Magic Wand, try the Lasso tool, which gives you more control.

2. The standard Lasso lets you free-draw your selection. The Polygonal Lasso lets you draw in straight lines. The Magnetic Lasso tries to stick to the edges or borders of objects in the image.

3. Click or tap and hold the Lasso tool (third from the top in the Tools menu) to choose one of the three Lasso tools.

The Lasso tool in Photoshop

Tip: Make sure to draw completely around whatever you want to select. You can close the selection early by pressing Ctrl (on Windows) or Command (on a Mac), then click or tap anywhere on the image.

Use Quick Mask

Using Quick Mask is a more hands-on method of selecting the background.

  1. 1. Select the Quick Mask tool. It's the second tool from the bottom of the Tools bar and looks like a grayscale EU flag.

    The Quick Mask tool in Photoshop
  2. 2. Select the Brush tool from the Tools menu, and then use careful brush strokes to paint over the subject. It will turn red. Use the Size menu at the top of the screen to increase and decrease the brush size as necessary.

    Note: If you don't see red strokes when you paint, press X on the keyboard to ensure you're painting with black. If you make a mistake, press X again to switch to white, and then paint over the area again to deselect it.

    The Brush tool in Photoshop
  3. 3. When finished, select the Quick Mask icon again to see your selection.

    Tip: If you select the foreground rather than the background, press Command+Shift+(or Ctrl+Shift+I on Windows) to invert the selection.

    A highlighted background in Photoshop

Warning: Whatever method you use, don't click or tap anywhere in the main window after selecting the background. This could invalidate your selection. If you do, press Command+(or Ctrl+Z on Windows) to undo your action, or press Command+Alt+Z (or Ctrl+Alt+Z on Windows) to undo several steps.

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