The other day I was happily Photoshopping away sharpening an image for a new print size when I stumbled across a small problem.
I wanted to select the part of the image so I could apply a different sharpening technique to it, I switched to the trusty Magic Wand tool and clicked on the sky. Imagine my surprise when, instead of selecting the just the white the whole image was selected.
I checked all the obvious solutions:
- Did I have the correct layer selected? – Yes
- Was the Tolerance setting ok? Yup it was set to 10
- Was the other parameters set appropriately? – Yes
- Restart Photoshop – No change
- Try a different image – No change
- Restart PC (getting desperate now) – No change
- Blame the kids – Still no change (only kidding 😀 )
I’d checked all the obvious and no luck, so having eliminated the probable solutions it was time too tart looking for the improbable ones
I remembered playing around with the Eyedropper tool a few days before, so carrying on with my search for the improbable I selected the eye dropper tool and had a close look at it parameters. The only one the made any sense in relation to my problem was the Sample Size (which I remembered changing) so I set the Sample Size back to 1 point and returned to my Magic Wand tool.
Amazingly the problem was fixed, the appropriate area of sky was now selected and I adjust my Tolerance to get the result I wanted.
Admittedly I could have just used the Quick Selection Tool but that would not have helped me next time I had to use the Magic Wand so I was extremely happy to have fixed the problem though a little confused as to why the Magic Wand and would be connected in this way.
As far as I can tell this relationship between the Magic Wand and the Eyedropper tools has existed since at least CS3 so it obviously isn’t a “Bug” rather more of an “Undocumented Feature” 😀
To summarise, if you are having a problem with the Magic Wand tool selecting more of your image than is appropriate for the parameters you have set and you have tried all of the solutions listed above then:
- Select the Eyedropper tool
- Go to the parameter toolbar at the top of the screen (or right click anywhere on the image)
- set the Sample Size to Point Sample
and all your problems should be fixed 😎
If that fails then blaming the kids is the only option left 😉