We’ve seen how to select geometric shapes, but life is rarely so simple. How do you select the irregular shapes all around us? Let’s begin with this historic sign.

The most straightforward tool for the job is the lasso tool. You simply click and hold the mouse button, and trace the shape all the way around back to the starting point. You must end where you begin or Photoshop will connect the two points with a straight line to close the selection. This is rarely a good option.

I don’t know about you, but tracing the staight sides is difficult for me. I’m not that steady or accurate. Don’t worry, Photoshop can help. Use lasso tool for the curved areas, then press Option (Alt) to access the Polygon lasso for the straight lines. A little practice going from one to the other will soon pay big dividends in your work.