Freehand to polygonal lasso switching on the fly.

  • This is a feature request. Having explored this in depth and asked other expert users, "How?"

    The answer is: "You can't".

    This is the feature: In Photoshop, while using the lasso tool to select in free hand mode, if you press and hold down the ALT key, it switches to polygonal selection, -without closing off the area being selected-. The selection process is still active! This means you can bring your stylus up from the canvas while holding down ALT, evaluate, scratch your nose, and then when you're ready, go back in and continue tracing out the area you want to select.

    This is a fantastic feature! -It not only allows you to take your time without feeling pressured, but when you hit a spot where it's easier to just tap points around an object rather than free-hand it.., by golly, you can!

    I do TONS of area selecting in comics for filling in grey scales. It's also extremely useful for colouring. Comics pros use and love this feature. (Not all of us, but those who do, know exactly what I'm talking about and have in fact discussed it elsewhere.

    So... yeah. A feature request.

    I signed up here specifically to ask if this can be added. It would mean I could finally drop Photoshop. I don't know how hard it would be to make a change like that, but I figured it can't hurt to ask.


  • I am glad you posted this. I was trying to figure this out but will stop wasting my time. Hope they can get this going.

  • Ah, nostalgia. Riding home from school on my woolly mammoth, stopping off at the malt shop for a nickel float, and the pressure of having to lasso select a figure in Photoshop in one go. I remember that mix of hot anger and utter despair when the selection accidentally closed too soon, driving a straight line through what I had already done and I'd have to start over. I miss my woolly mammoth and nickel floats but I don't miss those archaic selection tools.

    The selection tools have come a long way and you have so many options now.

    You can use a Poly Line selection tool with Spline selected in Continuous Curve. In Modifier Key Settings, set Alt to Aux. Tool Operation > Deselect Partially and set Shift to Aux Tool Operation > Select Additionally. You can trace around a figure or object using spline points and never have to worry about how you will rest your hand or accidental closures. If you hold Alt then click once, you can release Alt and the tool will remain in addition mode while you work; adding to an already active selection. Hold Shift and click once and the tool remains in subtract mode. While the tool is active, holding Alt to click will make a corner spline (straight lines), release Alt and the tool returns to curve splines. And if you need a rest, you don't have to hold Alt to scratch your nose or reassess, just put the stylus or mouse down. The tool and selection will stay active. Go to the washroom if you have to, no worries. You're not chained to the Alt key. When you come back, pick up where you left off.

    How about Quick Mask? Click Quick Mask and paint a huge splotch over your object.


    Use an eraser to delete portions of the mask. Or make selections and clear away the mask.


    But let's say the unimaginable happens; and the mouse made an accidental double click in the middle of a long tracing session!!!

    0_1482552454389_mask 3.jpg

    Gahhhh!!! But wait. All's not lost. Simply reverse the selection and erase the mask. Then proceed cutting away. Take a break if you have to; you're still not chained to the Alt key for breaks.

    0_1482551967257_mask 4.jpg

    When you're done, click Quick Mask again and you get a selection.

    0_1482552418006_mask 5.jpg

    It wouldn't bother me to have the Alt switch from freehand to poly line feature but there are better options available.

  • @garlam

    Thanks for taking the time to offer your demo, garlam!

    There are clearly plenty of alternative methods to achieve the same results. I've tried 'em all, and they all work. I just can't seem to get into them and always find myself gravitating back to Photoshop for grey fills and cast shadows and various shape work.

    I suppose I've become hard-wired for my current workflow, having been doing it that way since the 90's. To my mind, the alternative methods you and many others before have detailed seem like over-complicated work-arounds rather than improvements, requiring multiple tools and too many actions rather than just allowing me to get on with drawing the shapes I want. That's just my opinion, I realize, but I think it's a valid one.

    Don't take away a pianist's preferred instrument and give him a trombone. Why do that? I suspect it was just an oversight rather than a deliberate subtraction.

    That's why I offered my request. CSP has an equivalent for every other common tool function found in PS. I think including this one as well would serve people nicely and be an overall improvement to the package.