Select Subject (One Click Selection) in Photoshop CC 2018.jpg

Probably most popular Photoshop topic is how to select and isolate the object from its background. Starting with January 2018 update (19.1.0 Release) Adobe Photoshop CC 2018 offers a one-click selection which is available as Select Subject command.

This is an excellent addition to selection tools which will be useful for beginners but also and for most advanced users. In many situations, it just works and saves tons of time. I believe this is a starting point of making dreams come true to isolate just anything with a single click.

In this tutorial, I will explain to you when and how to use Select Subject to select an object with a single click.


Where to find Select Subject command

The first thing to mention is where to find Select Subject command. You can evoke this command in the following ways:

  • While editing an image. Go to Select > Subject.
  • With Quick Selection or Magic Wand Tool active click on Select Subject button in the Options bar.
  • With Quick Selection tool active in Select and Mask workspace click on Select Subject button in the Options bar.

Select Subject available from the Options bar.jpg


Requirements to use Select Subject command

In order to use the Select Subject command, you must have a single layer in the Layers panel selected.


When to use Select Subject command

From my testing Select Subject works excellent, almost perfect with images which do not have a busy background. It just works. Recommended time-saver even for power Photoshop users.

With busy backgrounds, you can still use this command as a single click starting point.

Here is an example of almost perfect selection created using single click. It is a not difficult task but compare single click with whatever technique you are currently using.

Single click selection of the eggs.jpg

Here is another example of selection against a solid color background with variations. Hair is very well selected.

Select subject in action.jpg

Here is the same image after dragging Refine Edge in Select and Mask workspace around the hair. Literally, you need 10-15 seconds for this result which is shown against a transparent background after adding a layer mask.

Final after using refine edge 3.jpg


Bonus tip: assign keyboard shortcut

For those who are beginners and users which are often isolating objects, I want to recommend to assign a keyboard shortcut which is not present by default, to Select Subject command from Edit > Keyboard Shortcuts...


Product used in this tutorial:

Adobe Photoshop CC 2018 (19.1.0 Release)



Make quick selections


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