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Photoshop Elements 2 Magic Eraser

Photoshop Elements 2 Magic Eraser

magic eraser icon

Used for removing portions of images
Found at #7 in the Toolbar diagram at left


The magic eraser is grouped with the other eraser tools in the toolbar. To find the one you want, click on the eraser, and choose it from the pop-up menu that appears.

Unlike the other two erasers, this tool acts as by clicking, not dragging. It’s similar to the magic wand tool, except that it removes the pixels found, instead of selecting them.

The magic eraser erases to transparency on the active layer. If you apply it to the background layer, the layer will automatically be changed into a regular layer since the background layer does not permit transparency.

The keyboard shortcut for the erasers is the letter E. To cycle through all three eraser tools, hold down the Shift key while repeatedly pressing the shortcut key.


The illustration below is the magic eraser tool’s options bar. The Tolerance setting determines how much variation in the selected color will be erased. A low setting allows very little variation; a high number will allow erasure of a broader range of similar colors. Choosing Anti-aliased will make the edges of the deleted area smoother.

Check Use All Layers if you want to sample a color to erase from all visible layers. Note that the resulting erasure will only affect the active layer. If Contiguous is unchecked, all pixels of the selected color within the designated tolerance range will be erased. When checked, only pixels connected to the spot clicked will be erased.

The Opacity value can be set by typing into the text box, or by clicking the little arrow at the right side of the box and dragging the slider that appears. When set to 100 % the erasure will be to complete transparency. When set to a lower value, semitransparent color will be left according to the percentage chosen. .

magic eraser options bar

If you have doodled with a tool’s options and want to get back to the default settings, click that tool’s icon at the far left end of its options bar. Choose either Reset Tool to reset only the current tool, or Reset All Tools to restore default settings to every tool.

Please note that all descriptions, and illustrations featured refer to files which are in Photoshop’s .psd format, and which are in RGB color mode. Other file formats, and color modes may generate different options. Some Photoshop features are not available for images not in .psd format, or RGB color mode. To find what color mode your image is in, choose Image > Mode.