How to Use Refine Edge in Photoshop for Perfect Selections

If you are not a fan of mask or the select then a tutorial of the following article would help. The refine edge tool is effective to tweak and clean up edges of the complex selection. With the newest version of Photoshop and Photoshop CC 2019, this would help you to find command of Refine Edge.

What is Photoshop Refine Edge?

In the recent past, Adobe Photoshop CS3 introduces a new feature called “Refine Edge”. This feature was added to improve the initial selections. Refine edge new tools and characteristics were updated in Photoshop CS5. Now fur, hair and other types of multifaceted selection are simple as the dragging the brush.

When an editor needs to eliminate the background Refine Edge is becoming an ordinary tool for them.

Refine Edge substituted with the select and mask in the Photoshop CC 2015. It led to the new workspace for making and collection of Refining. However, Select and Mask were far good then Refine Edge which was not approved by everyone.

How to Use Refine Edge in Photoshop for Perfect Selections

“Photoshop refine edge” vs “Select and Mask”

Both of these tools serve similar purposes. However, In the year 2016 photoshop include a new tool called  “Select and Mask” tool.

It tends to replace the refine edge tool. Moreover, I found it more accurate and quick. Although Adobe hasn’t fully removed the Refine Edge from Photoshop.

Here, Select and Mask are not the same as the Refine Edge which was claimed by the Photo Editors. Later, the Update of the Select and Mask was given in the Photoshop CC 2017. In Photoshop CC 2019, also the latest update was given. So,

Where is the refine edge tool in photoshop cc?

Though Refine Edge was the best choice to work and many editors who use Photoshop. Nevertheless, it was not eliminated from Photoshop. Adobe removed it from the way of access. You can find the Refine Edge in the Photoshop CC also in the latest version.

To do so, open the refine edge window in photoshop when the selection or the mask tool is active.  Press and hold Shift Than Select>Select and Mask. Now, it will open a window. See the second picture below (2).

Now find it from the following tips…

Photoshop Tutorial: Using Refine Edge Tool for Perfect Selection

This tool has several advantages and disadvantages. Like other photoshop tools, you need to be careful whenever selecting a particular feature. Moreover, you need to decide whether a picture is eligible to use refine edge or not.

However, this is not always an easy task to do. Sometimes, you have to revise the whole procedure. This tutorial demonstrates how to select and use Refine Edge tools with a perfect example.

When to Use Refine Edge in Photoshop

The perfect answer to this question will be everywhere. You can use this feature in every image. But, I will recommend you to use it in these conditions-

  1.  When the foreground and background colors are different by margins.
  2. When working with complex edges, ie hair, fur.
  3. Pictures where there are a lot of blank spots and transitions.
  4. In those situations where the clipping path is not eligible.

This tool is particularly suitable when you need to remove the background from the image with hair.

Step 1: Selection in the initial stage

Refine Edge does not allow to do the initial selection like the Select and Mask workstation.  So, in the latest Photoshop CC, we need to keep our mind that it just refines the selection. We could not produce one selection with the software of Photoshop CC 2019. At first use the Photoshop selection tools to perform the initial selection.

In the photo, women and her hair were selected with the Color Range instruction.

Photoshop Refine Edge

Step 2: “Select and Mask” choice should apply by pressing “Shift”

After the initial selection, Use the “Shift” and hold on the keyboard. Now, if you go up then look for Menu Bar and then select. After that, pick the Mask and Select.


Next, you can discover the Refine Edge dialog box rather than opening Select and Mask. It is the same as the previous version of Adobe which was taken away from it. Photoshop will regularly open Select and Mask if you do not make the initial selection in the first stage. 


Yes, it’s like old Adobe Photoshop that we want to see. Hence, this is the process of bringing back the Refine Edge Command in Photoshop CC 2017 or 2018. Also, check the step-by-step to learning the new Curvature Pen Tool to find out the amazing consequences can be done with Photoshop CC 2019.

The Refine Edge in Photoshop is a dominant opinion that allows you fine-tune selections when handling complex edges. Most designers don’t understand how to use this persuasive tool. So this can be painful too.

If you are looking for perfect background changing of complex images like complex edges, fury, hair or bushes this can be a great alternative of alpha channel masking. However, after photoshop masking you may need to do some retouching work.