How to Deselect in Photoshop: Working With Selections

Has this ever happened to you? You made a selection in Photoshop and made adjustments to an image. Now you want to see the result of your work without those distracting marching ants going around your selection. 

How do you get rid of them? 

Hi, I’m Cara and because I am a self-taught professional photographer and Photoshop user, I was very frustrated by deselection when I first started using Photoshop. No matter what I tried, those darn marching ants wouldn’t go away!

I appreciated that the selection is not easy to get rid of because who wants to hit the wrong button and watch their painstakingly created selection go away? But it’s still nice to get rid of it when you don’t need it anymore. 

Save yourself the frustration I faced and read this quick article on how to deselect in Photoshop. I’ll also show you how to get a selection back. Let’s go!

Note: the screenshots below are taken from the Windows version of Photoshop CC. If you are using the Mac version, they will look slightly different.

How to Deselect a Selection in Photoshop: 2 Ways

There are two ways that you can deselect your selection in Photoshop. You can use your mouse or the keyboard shortcut

To do it the long way, go up to Select on the menu bar and choose Deselect from the dropdown menu. 

I know, super long, right? 

The second way is even easier. Just hit Ctrl + D (Command + D on a Mac) on the keyboard. 

Voila! The marching ants disappear!

How to Reselect a Selection in Photoshop

What if you accidentally deselect your selection? A selection can be laborious and time-consuming to create and losing it is an awful feeling…

…unless you know how to easily reselect!

There are a couple of ways you can do this. The first is to undo your last move (if deselecting was your last move) by hitting Ctrl + Z (Command + Z) on the keyboard. Or you can go up to Edit on the menu and choose Undo Deselect.

The second is to use the reselect option. You’ll find it on the menu bar under Select. Simply hit Reselect. This works even if you do something else after deselecting. 

Alternatively, hit the keyboard shortcut Ctrl + Shift + D (Command + Shift + D).

Hide a Selection

You can also hide a selection without actually deselecting it. This might be useful in the case where you want to see the image without the marching ants, but you’re not finished yet. 

To do this, go to View in the menu bar and click Extras to get rid of the checkmark. Or hit Ctrl + H (Command + H) on the keyboard. The marching ants will disappear. To make the selection reappear, simply repeat the same action. 

How to Save a Selection

You can also save a selection for later. This option will save the selection as an alpha channel and you can see it at any point in the channels panel. 

Simply go to Select and choose Save Selection. When you’re ready to use the selection again, just hit Load Selection and choose the name you saved it under. 

Working With Selections

Now you’re a pro at deselecting and reselecting in Photoshop. Check out this article to learn how to copy and paste selections in Photoshop. 

About Cara Koch
Cara fell in love with photography circa 2014 and has been exploring all corners of the imagery world ever since. When she felt limited by Lightroom, she dove headfirst into Photoshop to learn how to create the images she wanted.

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