Saving Selections

Saving Selections

The term alpha channel sounds pretty complicated, but it is simply a saved selection. Depending upon the mode you’re in, you already have several channels to contend with. A selection is just an extra channel that you can call on at any time.

To create an alpha channel, follow these steps:

  1. Create a selection that you want to save.

  2. Choose Select®Save Selection.

  3. Name the Selection and click OK.

    In the Channels palette is an additional named channel that contains your selection, as shown in Figure.

    Click To expand
    Figure: An RGB image with an alpha channel (a saved selection).

To load a saved selection, follow these steps:

  1. Choose Select®Load Selection.

    The Load Selection dialog box appears, as shown in Figure.

    Click To expand
    Figure: If you have a selection and then choose to load a selection, you have additional options.

  2. Select your named channel from the Channel drop-down list.

    Notice in Figure that if you have an active selection, and then choose to load a selection, that you have additional options. You can do the following with an active selection when loading a channel by selecting one of the following options:

    • New Selection: Eliminate the existing selection and create a new selection based upon the channel you select.

    • Add to Selection: Add the channel to the existing selection.

    • Subtract from Selection: Subtract the channel from the existing selection.

    • Intersect with Selection: Intersect the channel with the existing selection.

  3. Click OK.


Alpha channels can also be recognized by other Adobe applications, such as InDesign, Illustrator, Premiere, and After Effects.

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