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Grokking The Gimp
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3.1.1.2 The Lasso (the Free-Hand Selection Tool)

The Lasso is used to draw free-hand selections. Although its official name is the Free-Hand Selection tool, the Lasso will be preferred in this book because the tool's icon in the Toolbox resembles a lasso (and it's also a lot shorter to type).

The Lasso is used by clicking and dragging in the image window, tracing out the shape to be selected. Releasing the mouse button completes the selection. While tracing with the Lasso, the outline of the selection can be seen, and, when completed, the selection is shown by the Marching Ants. Figure  3.4

  
Figure 3.4: A Lasso Selection
Figure 3.4

shows an example of a Lasso selection.

The advantage of the Lasso is that it can be used to select arbitrarily complex objects. The disadvantage is that the work can be painstakingly slow, requiring extremely fine control of the mouse. Even the small selection shown in Figure  3.4 was difficult, because the tree's outline is so jagged and rough. Another aspect of the Lasso that makes it difficult for precision work is that the mouse button cannot be released while the selection is being made. This precludes using this tool for making large, complicated selections. For these reasons, the Lasso will not be our selection tool of choice for fine-grain work. Rather, it will mainly be used to rough-out selections around complicated shapes or for completing work on masks. A good example of the latter use of the Lasso is demonstrated in Sections  4.5.3 and 7.4.

Grokking The Gimp
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