How To Expand Selection In Photoshop?

Selections can be problematic and cause some frustration. You should deselect all of it and start over. That does not always have to be the case. You can work around your selection and increase the size or decrease it. 

Go to the “Select” option, then “Modify,” and choose “Expand.” Fill in the number of pixels you would like to add and click OK. Your selection will be expanded. 

Let us look at other ways and better understand the process. 

How To Make A Selection In Photoshop?

Making a selection in Photoshop is easy, but knowing what to do with the selection may be challenging. To select, click on the part of your canvas you want to work on. Once you do that, a dotted line will appear around the selected area or object. Now you may use some tools to work on your selection. 

Magic Wand

This tool works with colors and pixels. It selects specific colors across the image. Drawing is optional to carry this out. When color correcting or painting, this tool is a great help. 


The lasso tool allows you to draw your selection. You may use a free hand. This tool can also draw complex shapes like polygons and hexagons. Moreover, the magnetic lasso feature of this tool allows users to select an object with intricate borders. 

For example, if you want to select around a flower, use the magnetic lasso tool, as it will draw accurately around its edges. 

Marquee Tool

The marquee tool allows you to be precise with shapes. Under this tool, you can make selections in a circle, rectangle, ellipses, rows, etc. 

How To Expand A Selection In Photoshop?

While other tools may help you add to your selection, expanding your selection by a certain amount of pixels requires a set method. 

Here are the instructions: 

  1. Go to “Select” at the top of your screen. 
  2. Go to “Modify.”
  3. In the menu that appears, choose “Expand.”
  4. This opens a box asking you the number of pixels you would like to expand by.
  5. Enter the desired number and click OK.

This option also allows you to contract pixels. If you select “Contract” instead of “Expand,” the same box will appear. Enter the number of pixels you would like to contact and click OK. 

Figuring out the number of pixels one would like to expand or contract may be tricky, but over time you will find a good balance by working around it. 

If you require more assistance in figuring out the expansion of selection tools, you may want to refer to this helpful Youtube video: 

Photoshop – Resize a Selection – Enlarge or Shrink Object 

How To Save A Selection In Photoshop? 

When you have spent so long perfecting a selection, you may want to save it, so you do not have to make that effort again in another project. Photoshop has got your back. The selection will be saved as a mask and not as a layer. 

  1. Go to “Select” at the top of your screen.
  2. In the dropdown menu, look for “Save Selection.”
  3. A window will pop up. Name your selection here.
  4. Save your selection as a new channel. 

Shortcuts To Modify The Selection In Photoshop

Keyboard shortcuts can come in handy and reduce the time required to perform specific tasks in Photoshop. Learning and knowing these make your work more efficient and leave you time to invest in other parts of the project you are working on. 

Find below a list of selection-related tasks with their keyboard shortcuts.

  1. Select all – Press Control + A or Command + A on a Mac. This selects the entire canvas.
  2. Deselect all – Press Control + D or Command + D on a Mac. All selections are removed.
  3. Reselect – Press Control + Shift + D or Command + Shift + D on a Mac. This makes the same selection that was previously made. 
  4. Adding to selection – Press Shift while using the tools through which you want to make an addition. For example, a magic wand or lasso. 
  5. Removing from selection – Press Shift + Alt keys. Now use the tools you choose to remove the selection as you would like. 
  6. Inverting selection – Press Control + I. This will remove the selection that was made. Then it will select the entire area that was not selected previously. 
  7. Draw a selection as a shape – Press the Shift key and use the elliptical and rectangle tools to draw the shapes. 
  8. Moving the selection – Press the spacebar while you move the selection around your canvas. 


The selection tool can be expanded manually and through the means given by using pixels. It may take a while to find out what works best for you, but now you know how to perform both tasks adequately.