What Does The Magic Wand Tool Do

Learn What Does The Magic Wand Tool Do in Photoshop

While working on Photoshop, you may stumble upon a tool called “Magic Wand Tool.” But what does the magic wand tool do, and how to use it? Let’s explore each side of the tool. You would be surprised to know about its sheer ease of making intricate selections. 

As the name suggests, it works like a magic wand in Photoshop to speed up photo editing tasks. Many photo editing and retouching professionals love to use the tool. It’s interesting and easy to learn as well.

Let’s learn more about the tool and when you should use it. 

In a shorter answer, the Magic Wand tool is a dynamic selection tool that lets you select a specific portion of the subject. Unlike any other manual selection tools, you only have to click on a selected portion of the image. The tool will select the surrounding area based on similar hues.

In the meantime, you get to customize Magic Wand tool settings like Tolerance, sample technique, and others. With the finer adjustment, you easily choose specific areas without any issues. 

In-Depth Answer: What Does The Magic Wand Tool Do?

The magic wand tool selects a specific area depending on the color value. When you click on a certain color, the tool will automatically select the surrounding area with the same hue. It’s a lot useful when you are aiming to select the background of a certain image.

At the same time, it offers you flexibility in different parameters as well. On the other hand, it gets used in different kinds of image selections as well. When it comes to its usability, the tool is popular for product photo editing processes because it provides a faster selection process than other tools.

Where do Magic Wand Tools Get Used?

You would find several instances where a magic wand tool gets used. Out of all of the instances below, we have mentioned some of the most common tasks. These are the processes where the Photoshop magic wand tool gets used most often.

  • Editing Product Photos: When photo editors edit product photos, the magic wand tool is one of the most common tools to use.
  • Removing Background: Removing background becomes easy with auto-selection of the magic wand tool. 
  • Selecting Complex Objects: When a shape is super complex to make a manual selection, we use the Magic Wand tool instead.

Tips On How To Select With A Magic Wand Tool

Learning using the magic wand tool can lead you to a better selection of the image. In the following section, we are going to show you the exact step-by-step option of using a magic wand tool. You only have to follow each of the steps one after another. 

Step 1: Open up Photoshop on your computer device.

Step 2: Go to Open > choose a picture to open in Photoshop.

Step 3: The Magic Wand Tool is located on the left toolbar. It’s 4th from the top of the toolbar. 

Note: If you don’t find the Magic Wand Tool, right-click and select it from the dropdown option.

Step 4: Select “Add to selection” from the topbar.

Step 5: Now set the “Tolerance” value to around 25%.

Note: Higher Tolerance will lead to more areas of selection.

Step 6: Click on the area you want to select.

Step 7: Finally, verify how much area has been selected.

Note: If the whole area is not selected, you could increase the Tolerance. On the other hand, you could keep on licking the following area until it selects the whole area. 

When Should You Use a Magic Wand Tool?

Let’s review the scenarios when you should use the Magic Wand tool in Photoshop. When you are using a Magic Wand tool at this moment, it will make your task way simpler. 

  • When you are going to select an area with the same hue, moreover, you could toggle up the “Tolerance” value to select areas with similar hues as well. 
  • Replacing the background of an eCommerce product is way more easter with the Magic Wand Tool. 
  • To apply effects on an object which has complex shapes. The Magic Wand tool gives you the luxury to select the object with one click. But it’s better to remember that the object must be the same color. 

When To Avoid Magic Wand Tools?

You have a few instances when you must avoid using magic wand tools. For example, when selecting a specific object with multiple colors, avoid the magic wand tool. Because you won’t be able to select the object as it consists of different hues. Hence the following tool will be inefficient to go for.

In other instances where you need precise selection on areas like hair, the magic wand tool is not the best choice. In these cases, you should follow manual methods or use other selection tools. Perhaps, you need to understand the other selection tools as well. 

Let’s take some of the questions which are frequent on the following topic.

How Does A Magic Wand Tool Make Editing Easy?

The following tool offers a super easy option to select a certain amount of area with the same hue. Otherwise, it would be a tedious task to select a huge area on the image. Hence, it makes editing far easier on Photoshop.

Can I Remove Background Via Magic Wand Tool?

When the background has consistent color, using a magic wand tool would be a wise move because you get to select the whole background and remove it within a few seconds. But, after you remove the background, you might have to brush off hard edges on your subject. 

Is It Possible To Use A Magic Wand Tool On An iPhone?

Even though the Photoshop tool is not available on iPhone, you could use it on iPad. You only have to install it on your iPad and start using the Magic Wand tool. It’s all simple and straightforward compared to its desktop counterpart. 


Now you get the answer when someone asks, what does the magic wand tool do in Photoshop? In other words, the magic wand tool works like magic to make a selection based on hue. It’s simple to learn and start using on any image.

In addition, make sure you watch enough tutorials on the following tool. Platforms like Youtube offer huge resources for you to learn. Countless Photoshop experts are offering your hands-on guidelines, which are super helpful for beginners and professionals alike. Be sure to check them out.

Emma Rivett

Emma Rivett


“Emma Rivett is a brand photographer and copywriter who has a strong tendency to prepare, change and teach. Her photographic works were published in Uppercase, Travel + Leisure, Gayot Guide, Paula Deen Cooking, Design Guide, the NHOME Magazine, Urban Home, etc. Helping creative businesspeople create an online brand and PS”

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