Feather in Photoshop

In this blog, I will be discussing about, ‘What is Feather in Photoshop‘, ‘How to use Feather in Photoshop’ & ‘Shortcut to apply Feather in a selection’. My name is Lalit M S Adhikari and we are at LTY. Let’s get started!



What is Feather in Photoshop

feather option in lasso tool in photoshop
Feather option in Lasso Tool

Feather adds a Transparency Gradient to the edge of a selection up to the user defined width. In simple words, Feather makes the selection edges smoother or softer.

It can be found as option menu in Marquee Tools, Lasso Tool, Polygonal Lasso Tool, Magnetic Lasso Tool or in Modify under Select menu or using shortcut Ctrl + F6

modify option under select menu in photoshop
Feather in Modify under Select menu. Image Source

How to use Feather in Photoshop

There are three ways to use Feather in Photoshop, according to the following three situations:

  1. Before creating a Selection
  2. After creating a Selection
  3. On an existing Layer Mask

Let’s look at each situation, one by one.


Feather before creating a Selection

Let’s take this image below as our example. I will begin making selection using Lasso Tool.

image reference from pexels
Image chosen for example.

After choosing Lasso Tool, I will make the following changes in the option bar before beginning to create selection.

feather value place in option bar in photoshop
Feather value placed in Option Bar

After this, I will create selection. Please note that I had taken a relatively high value of Feather here, to easily show the difference in with and with-out Feather output.

Below, I have duplicated the selection once with-out Feather and then with Feather.

two examples for without feather and with feather cut out in photoshop
without feather & with feather cut out

Feather after creating a Selection

Again, taking the same image, Lasso Tool and creating selection with Feather value as ‘Zero’.

selection with feather value zero in photoshop
Selection with Feather value set to ‘Zero’

Now, we can either go to Select menu, Modify and then chose Feather. Or use shortcut Shift + F6

feather option under modify in select menu in photoshop
Feather after creating selection
feather selection dialog box in photoshop
Place value for Feather

Feather in Layer Mask

Now suppose you have already created a mask of our selection like below:

screenshot of photoshop showing an active layer with layer mask in layer panel
Layer Masked flower in the example

In this case, we will begin by clicking on mask once. It will get selected.

mask selected in layer in layer panel in photoshop
Select mask

Then open Properties panel under Window menu.

properties panel under window menu in photoshop
Properties under Window menu

Now fill in your value for feather and it will be applied immediately to the image.

adding feather in properties panel in photoshop
After adding Feather

Default image
Lalit M. S. Adhikari

I am Lalit Adhikari. I'm Blogger, Graphic & Web Designer.

Articles: 102

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