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I have a white screen area 142x113 px in Photoshop...

I select half of this area and tried SelectModifySmooth but it does not work the way I expected. I tried decreasing the selection's width and now the Smooth command works, but not very well.

I have 3 questions:

  1. Why smooth does not work in the first condition?
  2. What are the best ways for creating smooth edges (rounded corners) of a selection?
  3. What are the best ways for creating smooth edges (rounded corners) of a Layer?

thanks in advance

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3 Answers 3

up vote 6 down vote accepted

I don't know why Photoshop has never had a "rounded rectangle" selection tool. Seems like it ought to, doesn't it? But it doesn't. So, to answer your questions:

  1. "Smooth" is designed to even out rough edges. It doesn't do effective job of rounding corners because that's not what it's for.

  2. To create a selection with rounded corners, you have to start with a path and turn it into a selection: Use the rounded rectangle Shape tool in "Path" mode (it's the middle icon, the one with the pen, between the Shape Layer and Fill Pixels icons) to create a path with the rounding you want, then press Ctl - Enter (Windows) or Cmd - Return (Mac OS) to turn the path into a selection.

To mask a layer, just move the selection to where you want it then click the Layer Mask icon at the bottom of the Layers panel. That will create a layer mask based on your selection.

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I love to cheat selections using Quick Mask.

For this example, I would make the selection with a rectangle, then go to Quick Mask and make sure Mask is Selected Areas.

Use the eraser to remove the square edges of your rectangle, and then the paint brush or pencil etc. with a big round brush to make your rounded corner.

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Oooh... sneaky! :-) –  Alan Gilbertson Jun 5 '11 at 19:39
    
yep. I use Quick Mask for any selection which can't be drawn in one mouse-swipe. It's really productive once you get used to using it that way. –  Lauren Ipsum Jun 5 '11 at 21:52
    
Interesting. When it comes to masking, I use Quickmask when I want to soften a selection with visual feedback (Gaussian Blur, gradient tool, that kind of thing), but my first hit is almost always either Channels, with Calculations, Levels and Burn/Dodge as backup tools, or Color Range (the new masks panel makes that incredibly easy, and gives instant, full-resolution feedback). There are so many ways to mask in PS... :-) –  Alan Gilbertson Jun 5 '11 at 22:37

If you use the rectangle tool to make your selection then modify> smooth> change pixel size to round edges.

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