How do you use the Magic Wand Tool in Adobe Photoshop CS5? Apparently it changed from CS3 (And CS4.). Before, when you use the Magic Wand to select certain parts of the area, it would 'update live' and show the parts of the image that you are selecting.

Now, this is delayed and the changes to the areas that you add or subtract to the area selection with the Magic Wand only happen after you release on mouseclick. This is rather inefficient, isn't it?

Or have I done something wrong?

  • 3
    "After you release on mouseclick"? Do you mean you can't see your selection until you've let go of the mouse button? I've never known the Magic Wand to work any other way. I just tested it with CS4 and CS5 now, and they both work the same way. Or are you describing something else? Feb 13, 2011 at 16:08
  • I'm fairly sure you're thinking of Color Range selection. Magic Wand has never updated before mouse-up. May 19, 2011 at 5:03

2 Answers 2


This sounds like you want the functionality of Quick Selection Tool which is under the Magic Wand in the tool bar. Any chance you confused the two?

If I recall right, the magic wand has always worked "after you release mouse click". At least it does so in the CS1 and CS5 versions, which I have access to (CS1 doesn't even have the quick selection tool).


I agree with JFW. In CS4 I could see the selection line update as I was moving the mouse while I was using the magic wand tool. In CS5 I can't see it until I release the mouse button. IS there a setting somewhere I can change or did something break?

  • 1
    The Magic Wand definitely updates selection borders only on mouse up in CS3, CS4, CS5 and 5.1, so I suspect you and the OP are thinking of Color Range, which does update its preview during mouse down and drag. There is no updating of selected areas during a mouse down state in Magic Wand. May 19, 2011 at 4:59

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