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Why is the magic wand tool not working properly?

Community Beginner ,
Feb 11, 2017 Feb 11, 2017

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Hello!

I want to use the magic wand tool in Photoshop CC to select the sky in a picture. Unfortunately, it does not work like shown in tutorials I have seen. When I click somewhere in the picture, the entire picture gets selected. It does not make any difference when I change the tolerance to 1 or 255.

Does someone know how I can solve this problem?

Thank you very much!

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correct answers 1 Correct answer

Community Expert , Feb 11, 2017 Feb 11, 2017

It sounds like you may be trying to use the Magic Wand on a layer that doesn't have the pixels you want to select - likely a blank layer. Make sure you've clicked on the layer that has the sky on it (make sure it's "highlighted" - kind of a different gray than the other layers), so Photoshop knows that's the layer from which you want to select pixels.

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Community Expert ,
Feb 11, 2017 Feb 11, 2017

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It sounds like you may be trying to use the Magic Wand on a layer that doesn't have the pixels you want to select - likely a blank layer. Make sure you've clicked on the layer that has the sky on it (make sure it's "highlighted" - kind of a different gray than the other layers), so Photoshop knows that's the layer from which you want to select pixels.


Adobe Community Expert / Adobe Certified Instructor

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Community Beginner ,
Feb 11, 2017 Feb 11, 2017

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Thank you! You are an amazing person! I tried everything for hours wow I feel so stupid now

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Community Expert ,
Feb 11, 2017 Feb 11, 2017

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LOL! I'm so glad that helped! I always tell people that the only way I can sometimes tell when someone's making an error in Photoshop is because it's an error I've made tons of times over the years - so don't feel bad - I STILL do it!


Adobe Community Expert / Adobe Certified Instructor

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Community Expert ,
Feb 11, 2017 Feb 11, 2017

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Do you have either :

a. The layer with the image  you want to select from  selected in the layers panel
or

b. Sample all layers checked in the options bar?

You need one of the above for the tool to work.

Edit : Looks like you had a reply whilst I was typing this

Dave

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New Here ,
Jan 30, 2021 Jan 30, 2021

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I have the layer that I want selected but I am still having the same problem.

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New Here ,
Feb 18, 2021 Feb 18, 2021

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Davesome -

I think we're having the same issue. The correct answer below is correct, but not exactly the solution I was looking for in my project's situation. 

My .psd from a designer had a shape layer that was partially transparent in PS but as soon as exported or brought into Premiere, AE, etc. The "transparent" still layer appeared white. The magic wand tool wasnt selecting the designer's layer because it;s not actually there.

Heres what I found:

- Open your properties window in PS

- Select the grouped layers or layer

- Select "Properties" window

- Toggle "Artboard background color" to "transparent"

 

Screen Shot 2021-02-18 at 10.17.33 AM.png

 

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New Here ,
Jan 21, 2023 Jan 21, 2023

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Thanks but its still not working it is highlighted but it doesnt work😅😅😅

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Community Expert ,
Jan 21, 2023 Jan 21, 2023

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LATEST

@Chloe28043845bb7i 

Show us a screenshot that includes:

  • Layers panel with the correct layer selected
  • Toolbar with Magic Wand selected
  • Options bar for Magic Wand
  • The document window with your image

 

How to take screenshots here:

https://www.take-a-screenshot.org/windows.html

 

If you can tell us in what way "it doesn't work", that will be helpful, as those words can mean many things.

 

Jane

 

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