How To Deselect In Photoshop

If you’ve completed the work you set out to conduct on one specifically selected element of an image, or you’ve accidentally selected an element in an image and you don’t know how to go back, you’ll want to learn how to ‘deselect’ in Adobe Photoshop.

Thankfully, the process is easy, and we’re here to show you how. To learn how to deselect in Photoshop, just follow the tutorials below. For all other information, and if you have any other queries, please direct your attention to our FAQs at the end of this article.

How to deselect in Photoshop (keyboard shortcuts)

  1. Open up the Photoshop application on your computer and load a test image
  2. First, select some element of the image via one of the ‘selection’ tools located in the toolbar on the left of the page
  3. Now, to deselect your selected element using keyboard shortcuts, simply press CTRL + D (‘D’ for ‘Deselect’) simultaneously.

How to deselect in Photoshop (menu tools)

  1. Open up the Photoshop application on your computer and load a test image
  2. First, select some element of the image via one of the ‘selection’ tools located in the toolbar on the left of the page
  3. Now, to deselect your selected element via the menu tools, click on ‘Select’ from the menu bar along the top of the page. From the drop-down options, select ‘Deselect’

And there you have it! It’s really super simple; so simple in fact that once you’ve done it once, you’ll be hard-pressed to ever forget it! 

If you have any other questions, or still have unanswered queries, please see our FAQs below.

Frequently asked questions

What does it mean to ‘select’ in Photoshop?

Adobe Photoshop is so popular and has become such an industry standard for image creation and manipulation, that today the term ‘Photoshop’ is used to describe almost all forms of image manipulation, whether that manipulation has been conducted on the Adobe software or not.

When utilizing photoshop, it is absolutely crucial to be able to ‘select’ elements of the image. There are innumerable reasons for doing so, but in short, you select parts of an image in order to either separate them from the rest of the image or to work on them individually, applying effects and manipulating them without also applying these changes to the rest of the image.

There are multiple different means of ‘selecting’ in photoshop, each with its own uses. Ultimately, you’ll find yourself utilizing each of these different selection means at different times, and for different purposes.

What are the best means of ‘selecting’ in Photoshop?

As we’ve stated above, there are multiple different ways of ‘selecting’ image content on Photoshop. Given that each method or tool has its own intended use, there’s really no way of saying definitively which of the tools is the ‘best’ for use when selecting in Photoshop.

Most industry professionals would likely recommend using the ‘Pen’ selection tool, since it gives you the most freedom, and can therefore be the most accurate when selecting particularly detailed elements in an image. However, the ‘Pen’ tool is also best used with a graphic tablet and graphic pen, since achieving similar accuracy with a trackpad or computer mouse alone is nigh-on impossible. 

There are four ‘Marquee’ tools in Photoshop – rectangular, elliptical, single row or single column. These are used to select or cut out geometric shapes from the image, and as such can be useful for speed, but not so for detailed or complex image elements.

There are three different ‘Lasso’ tools in Photoshop – lasso, polygon, and magnetic polygon. These provide freehand selection, selecting the element once the two tails of the lasso are joined up. Polygon allows you to create points on the image between which a straight line is drawn, allowing for the freehand selection of more angular elements.

And lastly, there are the two ‘Magic Wand’ tools – quick selection, and magic wand. These tools allow the user to quickly select and/or cut out elements from the image which share similar (and customizable via a slider) color properties; super handy if you want to cut a bright red sign, say, out of an otherwise muted background image.

Why would I want to ‘deselect’ in Photoshop?

For the same reason that you’d want to select in the first place. Working with any of the selection tools we’ve discussed above is only going to be fully effective if you also know how to deselect the selected element.

Whether it’s because you’ve completed your manipulation work on the selected area, or are unsatisfied with the selection you’ve made in the first place, it’s important that you learn how to deselect elements quickly and efficiently.

Thankfully for you, that’s exactly why we’re here: to teach you the two methods of deselecting in photoshop. To learn how, simply follow our step-by-step guides above.

Can I reselect something if I’ve accidentally deselected it in Photoshop?

Yes, absolutely. The only catch is that you have to do so as the next action, after deselecting, otherwise you’ll have missed your window and will have to go through the manual selection process all over again. 
To reselect something you have just deselected, simply head back to the ‘Select’ menu along the top of the page, and from the drop-down options, select ‘Reselect’. Alternatively, you can utilize the keyboard shortcut, just like you did to deselect in the first place. For to reselect, the shortcut is SHIFT + CTRL + D (pressed on your keyboard simultaneously).