Adobe Photoshop Tutorial: Selection Tools And How To Superimpose One Picture Onto Another

When it comes to photo editing and design software Adobe Photoshop reigns supreme. In this Adobe Photoshop tutorial, Learn iT! Anytime highlights must-know selection tools that will help you superimpose pictures onto each other and more.

In this online tutorial you will learn:

• The Standard Lasso tool
• The Quick Selection Tool
• Inverse and Save Selection Method
• Cropping

Standard Lasso Tool

Photoshop lasso tool
The standard lasso tool allows you to select certain elements of an image. For example, a designer may want to select one element of one photo (like a hot air balloon) and impose it onto another photo (like in the background, up in the sky, on a Savanna backdrop) to create a final image. In today’s case below, we want to select the balloon and impose it on the giraffe photo.

Photoshop lasso tool
To perfect your selection with the lasso tool, you will need to zoom in, hold the Shift key and circle the area desired with lasso tool. Holding down the Alt key works the same, but de-selects unwanted selections.

Photoshop lasso tool
Once you have perfected your selection you can impose it on another by copy and pasting it on to the second image.

Quick Selection Tool

Photoshop Quick Selection tool
The quick selection tool allows you to select elements within the circular area of the tool. To adjust the size of the selection tool, you will need to use the left bracket key or the right bracket key to decrease or increase the selection area of the tool.

Photoshop Quick Selection tool
Once you have sized the tool to your needs, all you need to do is brush down or up on the area you want to select. Hold down on the Shift key to add to your selection or hold down on the Alt key to remove unwanted selections.

Inverse and Save Selection

Photoshop Inverse and Selection

If we wanted to select all balloons in the photo and impose them onto another image, it will take a lot of work. Thankfully with the inverse command, we can select the background–in this case the sky, and use the inverse command to select everything else other than the sky.

Photoshop Inverse and Selection
If you go to the Select Menu > Inverse you will notice your selection will flip to the balloons. Now we can copy our selection of balloons and impose them on our giraffe image.

Photoshop Inverse and Selection
A simple copy and paste of the balloon selection will create a new image.


The cropping tool allows you to adjust an image’s composition. By dragging the corners of the image you can crop for a better image.

Photoshop Cropping tool

Composition is best set in camera at the time of clicking the shutter, however at times it is not always possible. The art of cropping usually follows a general rule in photography, called the rule of thirds, where the image is cut in thirds with two horizontal lines and two vertical lines. According to the rule of thirds, when the subject falls within the intersecting lines the image becomes more pleasing to the eye.

Photoshop Cropping tool

The photo above could use a bit of cropping to strengthen the composition. Let’s get rid of the unwanted space that doesn’t help the overall impact of the image. If we followed the rule of thirds, the image will tighten and highlight the subject better. Look at the cropped image below.

Photoshop Cropping tool


Learning Photoshop is a great way to edit your visual work. For more Adobe Photoshop video tutorials and tips, visit our Adobe Photoshop tutorial page. Until next post!

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