Photoshop’s Newest “One Click” Selection Tool

In Photoshop, Videos by Diana K50 Comments

In the latest update to Photoshop they included a new one-click selection tool called Select Subject. Personally, any time a new selection tool gets added it gets my vote, but I’m really liking how well this one works to get you started with your selections. And when you combine that with the New Decontaminate Colors slider, you can get some really complex selections in Photoshop.



  1. marc labro

    thanks for this tuto. Looks powerful.

    Can you please explain the old method with clipping mask and inner glow we see in your tuto ?
    you mentioned this example in your composite book but i didn’t understand very well


    1. Matt K

      Thanks Marc – it’s a bit too much to go in to here in the comments, but I’ll put it on the tutorial list for the future.

  2. Jason Crane

    Thanks Matt, excellent as always, really useful addition, sure you’ll let them know that at the up and coming lunch with Adobe

  3. Michael Albany


    When you hit Select Subject at about 6:05 you stated that the tool selected only the screen. I think you meant PRIMARILY the screen. If you will notice the the reflection in the lamp and around the pens in the pen cup were selected as well. Still a great tool but it did pick up that similar contrasty area. To be honest, I only notice because I have the same Ikea lamp. πŸ˜‰

    Definately an improvement on selections. I updated yesterday and didn’t notice and have been doing selections all morning. I should learn to read release notes!


    1. Paul

      Yes, there were several areas selected, despite Matt’s comment to the contrary.

  4. Mark Sweeney

    Looks like a really good new feature of PS. And, as usual, you make it very easy to understand through your tutorials. Thanks, Matt.

  5. David Bee

    Thanks Matt. This is a good tutorial. I had tried the new selection but did not follow thru with the additional steps to refine the mask. You’ve shown me how and now my masks are much better – and quicker.

  6. Karen Black

    Thanks for the tut Matt! Always interesting to hear and learn about new tools, I didn’t even know it was there until I got your email!

  7. Elmar Bayer

    Thanks for your quick up-date on this brand new Adobe CC feature. I used it already and was surprised how well it worked. I am sure I can get even better results with the refinements you explained in your video.

  8. Bo

    That selection tool will really help when it comes to knocking out subjects. (Something I do a lot of for the senior softball games.) Anyway I was a little taken back because you didn’t mention anything about the new way to import photos from Lightroom without even having to open lightroom. You can now browse your photos in lghtroom from Photoshop, which I though is the cats meow. This to me is a huge time saver.

  9. Anfrea

    Thanks for this! I was wondering what was β€˜wrong’ with my photoshop becausecwhat i was used to was gone.

  10. Richard F Randolph

    Thank You so much for this. This may turn out to be all I need in most incidents. I had not updated my Photoshop and the tutorial was a good reminder.

  11. Gene Kimball

    For low-contrast photos, it would seem that this tool could be used with a luminosity mask to overcome some of the selection problems it would otherwise have. Anyway, this is a welcome addition by Adobe and I thank you for explaining the process.

  12. Gary

    This will be so cool for me.

    I did find it interesting, you mentioned early in your video about the current version 19.1, I xsaunder on over to my PS and it shows 2017.0.1, then 20161130.r.29×64. Yet if I go to Adobe CC, it shows the app is up to date.

  13. Ed Federer

    Thanks Matt. I enjoy your tutorials. When I use the “Quick Selection Tool”, and then go to “Select and Mask”, my “Decontaminate Colors” is greyed out. I have researched this on Google and have not been able to figure out why I can’t use it. Any ideas?

  14. Marlene

    Great video, as always, Matt, and I will send it along to my friends. One question I wondered about was after you use this tool, and it may not give a perfect selection, can you correct it in the same way you would using the minus or plus selection tool?

  15. Duncan Fowler

    Thanks Matt!
    I am so happy I took your two classes!
    It got me on your update list!

  16. Rick Berger

    A really useful tutorial about a really useful new tool! Thanks Matt for the clear explanation.

  17. Harvey Birnbaum

    I followed your New Select Tool tutorial. Updated the software in my Photoshop CC to 19.1.0. When I opened PS my workspace was all screwed up. Tried to re select my saved workspace to no avail.I’ve spent a couple of hours so far . How do I get my workspace back to when first installed PS. I need to get back to work?

  18. Henry Aragoncillo

    Would love to gather some of your expertise on selecting objects in black and white. I work primarily with old photos in my composite images and have very rarely seen anyone delve into this area, as it is mostly a contrast thing, as you spoke about.

    1. Matt K

      Hi Henry – I actually don’t really know of or use a tool in Photoshop that depends on colors. So anything I teach would work the same regardless of a color photo or B&W. Thanks

  19. Bruce Himelman

    Great stuff Matt! Masking and selections are not my greatest strength, but these new tools should help.

  20. Diane

    Great videos all the time, Matt. Perhaps suggest at the start that people view it Full Screen. Anything smaller makes it difficult to see the marching ants on selections.

  21. Dave Evans

    Thank you so much, Matt! This is a real game changer for me. So much easier! Really appreciate your videos.

  22. Marc Radell

    Hi, Matt. This was very good and I was able to use the technique successfully. For total newbies such as myself, it might be helpful to mention quickly some basic things that more advanced users take for granted. For instance, the background and subject photos should be opened as separate photos, not as layers. This was a bit confusing because the sample photos at the beginning of the video seem to be open as layers. And, it was not clear from the video that you had activated the Move Tool to drag and drop the edited layer into the background photo. Thanks.

  23. Catherine

    Hi Matt, It’s me again. Have just discovered watching your video on Youtube/tw so that I can work through your instructions on my Mac (absolutely brilliant). I bought one of your courses last year on Photoshop and downloaded onto my Mac. Once subscribed, are your courses available on Youtube so that I can watch and do the same time.

  24. Victoria

    Matt, you are an awesome teacher!! I have watched several videos about this but yours is the only one that is easy to understand!! Thank You, Thank You!!

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