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Using Two of the Eraser Tools in Adobe Photoshop CS5

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In this excerpt from Photoshop CS5 for Windows and Macintosh: Visual QuickStart Guide, Elaine Weinmann and Peter Lourekas show you how to use the Eraser tool and the Magic Eraser tool.
From the book

The Eraser tool is handy for quickly removing stray pixels or isolated shapes from an image. The “magic” aspect of the Magic Eraser is that it erases only pixels that are similar in color to the one you click, within the tool’s current Tolerance range. Be sure to use these tools on a duplicate image layer, because they remove pixels permanently.

To use the Eraser tool

  1. Choose the Eraser tool eraser.jpg (E or Shift-E).
  2. On the Options bar, do the following:

    Click a Soft Round brush on the Brush Preset picker.

    Choose a Mode of Brush, Pencil, or Block.

    For Brush or Pencil mode, choose an Opacity percentage and deactivate the Airbrush button; for Brush mode, keep the Flow setting at 100%.

    If you’re using a stylus and tablet, activate the Tablet Pressure Controls Opacity tablet-pressure-opacity_1.jpg and/or Tablet Pressure Controls Size tablet-pressure-size_1.jpg buttons.star.jpg

  3. Duplicate the layer (or Background) that contains the area to be erased. Hide the original, and keep the duplicate selected. To allow pixels to be erased to transparency, deactivate the Lock Transparent Pixels button.pixel_butt.jpg
  4. To adjust the brush diameter, either press [ or ] or Alt-right-click-drag/Control-Option-drag sideways. Drag across the areas to be erased.AB
    • Instead of erasing pixels permanently, hide them with an editable layer mask (see pages 168–169).

To use the Magic Eraser tool

  1. Choose the Magic Eraser magic-eraser-tool.jpg tool (E or Shift-E).
  2. On the Options bar, do the following:

    Choose a Tolerance value to control the range of colors the tool may erase. Try a value of around 30, or for a very narrow range, enter 3 or 4. You can change this value between clicks.

    Check Anti-alias. Check Contiguous to permit only pixels that are adjacent to one another to be erased, or uncheck this option to erase similarly colored pixels anywhere on the layer.

    Uncheck Sample All Layers and choose an Opacity of 100%.

  3. Duplicate a layer or the Background, hide the original, and keep the duplicate selected. Click the areas to be erased.C
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