A Detailed Guide on the Lasso Tool in Photoshop

In Photoshop, the Lasso Tool is a selection tool. Unlike the Marquee Tool, which is best suited to select rectangular shapes or the magic wand tool that selects color ranges, the Lasso Tool is used to outline and select or deselect irregular shapes freehandedly. The selections made using the Lasso Tool can be used to remove backgrounds, apply effects to selections, and edit particular objects.

This article primarily focuses on using the Lasso Tool, its types, and its benefits.

Subtypes Of Lasso Tool and How to Use Them

Using the Lasso Tool, you can outline a figure in an image by simply tracing its edges with the help of a mouse. The Lasso Tool itself has three subtype tools. To make the selection, you have to click on the starting point of the object and complete the selections by joining the initial and ending points.

Plain Lasso Tool

The Plain Lasso Tool allows you to outline the border of an object freehand, using the mouse or the stylus pen. You can simply take the cursor and place it at any point on the edge of the object, right-click, and start dragging the mouse along the edges neatly. After having selected the desired outline, you can join the two edges and release the mouse to select the whole area that falls in that outline you made.

While making selections using the Plain Lasso Tool, you should keep your hands steady to get the perfect selection. You can see the shaking of my hands in the following image selected using the Plain Lasso tool:

Polygonal Lasso Tool

The Polygonal Lasso Tool also works in the same way the Lasso tool does, but it selects in straight lines. Unlike the Lasso Tool, where the outlines are drawn by hand and need not necessarily be straight lines, the Polygonal Lasso Tool is used when the objects have straight borders that can be traced with lines easily.

You can simply place the cursor at any point on the edge and right-click to initiate the line. Then, you can take the cursor to the adjacent edge of the object and release the mouse to confirm the outline.

The image below shows a cropped TV display using Polygonal Lasso Tool:

Magnetic Lasso Tool

A Magnetic Lasso Tool is a tool that requires you to put in minimal effort and gives you great results. If the colors in the object that is to be outlined are in contrast with the background or surrounding colors, then you can use the Magnetic Lasso Tool to loosely move the cursor along the edge of the object, and it will detect the color contrast to give you a precise outline by itself. This comes in handy, especially with objects that have odd curvatures and complex borders.

The Magnetic Lasso Tool is a magical selection tool for objects with uneven boundaries. The above image results are achieved using Magnetic Lasso Tool.

Other than outlining and selecting an object from an image, we can add or delete segments from the existing selection.

How to Remove Selection Mistakes While Selection of the Objects?

While working on minor objects, there are high chances that you might make an uneven selection. To correct your selecting mistake while using the Lasso Tool, you can press the ALT key to remove the latest selection refine the selection process.

This shortcut works with all three Lasso selection tools.

Moving Selected Objects in New Layers

You can easily cut or copy your selected objects to new layers. Once you have selected an element from an image, right-click on design, and you will be shown options for copying and pasting the object in the new layer.

The resulting window show all other operations that you can perform on the selected object. Once you click on the desired option, you will see your selected object in a new layer in the Layers panel.

Major Applications of Lasso Tool

The Lasso Tool works on the active layer of designs in Photoshop and other Adobe applications. Following are some of the major uses and applications of the Lasso Tool in Photoshop.


The Lasso Tool is also used to soften the edges of the selected object so that it doesn’t look absurd on a different background. It allows you to set the feathering effect according to the requirement so that the segment looks smoother, and if you put it on another background, then it helps the images merge smoothly.

Editing background:

Using the Lasso Tool, you can preserve an object in an image and edit its surroundings. To do this, outline and select the object you want to keep untouched and then, invert the selection. This will deselect the object and select everything else in the image to apply editing and effects.

Removing Unwanted Objects From An Image:

Just the way you select an object from one image and copy-and-paste it into another, with a different background, you can cut remove any unwanted objects from your image. Just select the object that is photobombing and cut or delete it either using “Ctrl + x” or going to the menu and selecting cut. Now, you no longer have that object in your image.


Although selections can be made using other tools like Marquee and backgrounds too can be removed using the background eraser tool. Still, the Lasso Tool provides the freedom of selecting objects with perfection. However, beginners are quite skeptical regarding the use of the Lasso Tool. The Lasso Tool, when used appropriately, can deliver optimized and expected results. I hope you loved reading this article. Check out other Linux Hint articles for more tips and information.

About the author

Vishal Sharma

A graphic design enthusiast who loves to teach design. Working on design simulation these days. A teetotaller and Nomadic.