How to Refine Edges in Photoshop

How to Refine Edges in Photoshop – It’s not simple to create selections of individuals in Photoshop. Fortunately, Photoshop includes a plethora of tools, like the Refine Edge tool, that may assist you in completing the task more quickly. This process is made simpler with the Refine Edge tool, particularly when choosing hair or fur.

Photographers may utilize a variety of selection tools in Photoshop. The Magic Wand Tool, Lasso Tool, Polygonal Tool, Quick Selection Tool, and Pen Tool are some of them. Deciding with the Refine Edge Tool, on the other hand, is a quick and easy procedure. If you are interested to learn how to refine edges in Photoshop, follow the steps in this tutorial.



Edge Refine Tool

The Refine Edge Tool identifies complicated forms like hair, branches, or any other component of a picture with edges. It allows you to crop off certain portions of the image, such as your family or friends. To acquire the appearance, you desire, you may add a new backdrop to the selection, such as a blue sky. In summary, changing the background allows you to be quite innovative.



Process of Refining Edges in Photoshop

It’s easy to use the Refine Edge Tool. Simply follow the steps below to make a complex selection and then add a new backdrop.



Step-1: Duplicate Layer

To begin, go to the Layer tab. Then, press OK after selecting Duplicate Layer. There in the Layers Panel, a duplicate of the layer which has your picture will emerge above the main image.


How to Refine Edges in Photoshop



Step-2: Primary Selection

You’ll have to switch to another selection tool to get to the Refine Edge tool. From left toolbar, select Quick Selection Tool when the duplicate layer is active. To pick an area of the image, drag the tool around it.


How to Refine Edges in Photoshop



You’ll notice “marching ants” around the selection you made after using the Quick Selection Tool on the picture. If required, press and hold Alt while clicking on the places you wish to deselect to ensure the selection is more precise.


How to Refine Edges in Photoshop



Step-3: Select and Mask Tool


  • Select and Mask is situated at the top of the window.


How to Refine Edges in Photoshop



  • A white translucent layer mask will emerge over the image, preserving the selected region. Select a View Mode to examine the selection in several layer masks.


How to Refine Edges in Photoshop



  • Finally, you’ll notice the Refine Edge Brush Tool, along with other tools on the left side.


How to Refine Edges in Photoshop



  • You’ll find the Properties Tab on the right, which contains some adjusting sliders.


How to Refine Edges in Photoshop



  • Customize the Radius, Smooth, Feather, Contrast, as well as Shift Edge parameters in the box. You’ll be utilizing the Radius slider frequently.


Note: These methods might not work if you’re using a previous version of Photoshop. Instead, when you’ve made your choice, press and hold the Shift key on the keyboard. Finally, choose Select and Mask from the Select menu.


Step-4: Application of Refine Edge


Brush across the regions you wish to enhance using the Refine Edge Brush Tool on the left side. To be as precise as you need, modify the brush size and type of brush from the menu.


Decontaminate Colors might help you narrow down your options even further. This lowers the number of colorful pixels surrounding the selection’s edge and substitutes them with pixels that suit the selection’s colors.


How to Refine Edges in Photoshop



Step-5: Finish editing using Output To


  • Choose Output to from the Properties Tab and select one of the output choices from the menu. You may continue editing the selection while keeping the original image as the background layer if you choose “New Layer with Layer Mask.”


  • Select “OK” from the box. The Properties Tab will disappear, and Photoshop will return you to your previous workspace. A checkerboard backdrop now separates and encompasses the selection. This shows that the area is translucent.


How to Refine Edges in Photoshop



Step-6: Further Adjustments

The Refine Edge Tool may sometimes make portions of a picture visible that you wish to keep intact, such as when some hair looks translucent. In this scenario, proceed as follows:


  • Modify the background color of the current layer’s Layer Mask to black.


How to Refine Edges in Photoshop



  • Buff over the see-through region with the Brush Tool to recover the missing pixels (s).


Step-7: New Background


From the menu bar, select Layer and then New Fill Layer. Then, to produce a solid background color, pick Solid Color. Alternately, at the layers window’s end, select the Fill and Adjustment Layer option.


How to Refine Edges in Photoshop



From the color picker, choose a color after clicking “OK” from the box. Select “OK” yet again.


How to Refine Edges in Photoshop



Place a solid color background layer beneath the selected layer.


How to Refine Edges in Photoshop


Selection will now appear above the new background.


How to Refine Edges in Photoshop
How to Refine Edges in Photoshop



Object Selection in Busy Backgrounds

For busy backdrops, the same procedures apply when using Photoshop’s Refine Edges tool. The main problem is that choosing the margins of your subject will be tricky using your selection tools. As a result, you’ll have to delve into the details and manually tweak them for a more exact pick. However, as long as your selection is clean, you should have no trouble utilizing the Refine Edge Tool.




These are among the most common queries people have about Refine Edge Tool.


  1. Where to locate the Refine Edge tool in Photoshop?

Answer– The Refine Edge tool is located on the left properties window in Photoshop. You may also use your keyboard’s “Ctrl+Alt+R” shortcut keys or right-click to pick the option.


  1. Why doesn’t my Photoshop have Refine Edge?

Answer– In later versions of the application, such as Photoshop CC in 2019, it may be more difficult to locate the tool. The functionality has been relocated to the Select and Mask panel since 2015.




For those of us who prefer to perform collages or exposure blends, having the ability to utilize Refine Edge in Photoshop is a definite advantage. The Refine Edge tool, like everything else in Photoshop, will take some time to grasp. If you don’t know how to refine edges in Photoshop, you won’t be able to master this ability. Remember to choose a range of subjects, such as trees and colorful or dynamic backgrounds that aren’t plain colors.



How to Refine Edges in Photoshop

Published By

CPP Graphics Media 


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