Move a Selection
in Photoshop Elements

It's easy to move a Selection in Photoshop Elements . . . if you know the secret for doing it.

Most people (intuitively) think that you use the Move tool to click-and-drag to move a Selection.

But when you do that, not only does the Selection move but everything inside of the Selection also gets moved.

Sometimes you just want to use the Selection that you already made on a different area of your photo, or you want to nudge it a little bit.

Another cool little process you'll see in this tutorial is how to move a Selection from one photo to a different photo.

Click to watch the video below to see how it's done. Under the video there's a summary of the steps for you to use as a quick reference.

Follow The Steps Below To Move A Selection On Your Photos

To show you how to move a Selection I'll use the photo below of the tiles. If you want to move a Selection it will usually be because you have an identical shape to move your original Selection to.

For example let's say that you want to adjust the color of 2 (or more) of the octagon tiles in our photo.

So you make a Selection around the first tile and adjust it. Then you could go to the other tile that you want to change and make another Selection around that one.

But you can save yourself some time by just using your first Selection since both of the tiles are the same shape and size.

In the video above I showed the whole process of not only how to move a Selection but also how to use the Polygonal Lasso to make a Selection. I also showed how to change the color.

In the steps below I'm going to just focus on how to move your Selection.

STEP ONE- Add A New Layer.

Go over to the Layers Panel and add a new blank Layer by clicking on the “Create a New Layer” icon.

STEP TWO- Make A Selection.

For this Selection since our octagon tile is formed by a series of straight lines I’m gonna use the Polygonal Lasso tool.

To see my tutorial on how to use the Polygonal Lasso tool click HERE.

STEP THREE- Move The Selection

To move the Selection you need to use a specific tool from the Toolbox. Actually there are 5 different tools that will work for this. But they all share one of two different spaces in the Toolbox.

Either of the Marquee tools can be used to move a Selection. There’s 2 of them that share the space in the upper/right of the Select section. They are the Elliptical Marquee and the Rectangular Marquee tools.

You can also use any of the 3 Lasso tools to move your Selection. They are the Lasso, Polygonal Lasso, and the Magnetic Lasso tools.

One other rule you need to observe to move a Selection is that the cursor needs to be placed inside of the Selection before you click-and-drag it.

If you use one of those 5 tools but click outside of the Selected area on your photo, the Selection will go away because Photoshop Elements thinks that you want to start a new Selection at the spot where you clicked.

So place the cursor inside of the Selected area and you'll notice that as soon as your cursor gets inside the Selection the cursor icon changes to a little dotted outline with an arrowhead next to it. That’s another indication that the cursor can now be used to move the Selection by clicking-and-dragging.

So I’ll click-and-drag it down and place it over this other octagon tile.

If the Selection is almost but not exactly positioned where you want it you can use the arrow keys on your keyboard to nudge it into place.

STEP FOUR- Move A Selection To A Different Photo.

You can move your Selection not only to a different area within a photo but also you can move it to a completely different photo.

I have 2 different photos open in Photoshop Elements right now. You can see up at the top of the Window that there are 2 tabs (one for each photo).

Another way that you can tell how many photos are currently open in Elements is to go down in the lower/left of your window and click on “Photo Bin”.

When I do that the Tool Options panel is replaced by the Photo Bin. You can always get back to the Tool Options by clicking where it says “Tool Options” just to the right of where it says "Photo Bin".

The Photo Bin displays a thumbnail of any photo you currently have open in Elements. The photo that’s currently active has a light blue border around it’s thumbnail and it’s also the one you see up in the Active Image Area.

You can change which photo is active just by clicking on its thumbnail in the Photo Bin.

Let’s say that we want to make a color change to 2 of the octagon tiles in the other photo similar to what we did in this photo.

Since we know that the octagons are the same size in both photos, we realize that we can use the same Selection that we already made.

And it’s really easy to move our Selection to the other photo. All we have to do is first make sure that we have one of those 5 Selection tools that we identified earlier as allowing us to move a Selection.

Click anywhere inside of the Selection and continue holding down the mouse button as you drag your cursor down to the Photo Bin.

When your cursor gets over the thumbnail of the photo that you want to move the Selection to, release the mouse button.

When you do that, the other photo will become active and show up in the Active Image Area. And our Selection is in the same spot as it was in the first photo.

If you want the Selection somewhere else just move it as explained in STEP THREE.

And that completes this tutorial on how to move a Selection in
Photoshop Elements.

Remember, don't use the Move tool, use a Marquee or Lasso tool!

Until next time . . .

Take care!
Rick Peterson

You might also like . . .

How to Save a Selection with your photo.

How to use the Lasso Tool in Photoshop Elements

How to use the Magnetic Lasso Tool in Photoshop Elements

How to use the Polygonal Lasso Tool in Photoshop Elements

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