Selecting a shape in a layer
I want to select an element
Sometimes when making an element you will want to select it's exact shape to use for another layer. By selecting it you will have marching ants around every nook and cranny for an exact replication of the shape. For example you may have a leaf shape that you would like to recreate to make a gradient layer over.
There are two ways you can do this. click on the picture to enlarge so you can see better.
1. Using your marquee tool make a large square around the item you wish to select. Now click on the move tool, the very first tool on the left hand side and using the directional keys click left or right (your choice) the layer will now be selected. Now click once back in the opposite direction to put the selected item back where it was. This is important if you are laying a lot of pieces.
2. Holding down the control key go to the right of your screen to where the layers are. Find the layer that you want to select. In the layer is a little box with a tiny picture of your element. This is called the icon box. Still holding down control key, click on the picture. Your element will now be surrounded by marching ants.
I want to make a replica shape of my element using a pattern layer I already have.
Now you have this selection you can create another layer and fill it, or you can select a layer that has another fill or element and holding down the control button and the J button at the same time make a replica of your element in a new layer using the selected pattern layer.
I want to deselect
To deselect the item click control and d at the same time.
I want to select the inverse area (everything but the element)
If you want to select everything but your element follow either of the above methods, then holding down the control key hit the up arrow above it and the i button at the same time. This selects the inverse area. Now the marching ants will be everywhere except your element. This is very useful when making elements. For example you may want to select a shape to cut out of another shape leaving behind a nice patterned hole. An example of this is used in how to make scalloped edging.