In Photoshop, exporting a selection means transferring images and designs individually, or layers or Photoshop documents as images. In this step-by-step guide on export a selection, the guide outlines three ways of exporting your image and video selections through the Path to Illustrator feature, the Render video, and the Zoomify feature.

Key takeaways

  • The “Render video” feature has a wide range of saving formats, but “Path to illustration” permits only the saving format of Adobe Illustrator.
how to export a selection in photoshop featured image

How to export selection on Photoshop

For this step-by-step guide, the instruction only covers 2 out of the three features.

A white canvas on photoshop

1. Create a new canvas

To get yourself a clean canvas to work on, scroll to the topmost part of the screen, at the menu bar. Select Files in the drop-down option box, scroll down and click on New. A dialogue box pops up with saving options for your new canvas, fill in the necessary details, and click on Save. Once done, you’ll return to the newly created canvas and commence with your work.

A circle and a square on the white canvas

2. Create shapes on your canvas

Once you have your new canvas, create shapes on it. In this instruction, the shapes created here are a rectangle and a circle. To make yours, scroll to the left-hand side of your screen, and you’ll find the shape toolbox. Click on it, on the drop-down box available, click on a rectangle shape, and click on an Ellipse shape. You are creating them side by side on the canvas.

Selecting both the shapes in photoshop

3. Selecting the shapes

To select both shapes, Press Ctrl and click on both shapes. Next, proceed to hide the background layer on the canvas.

Selecting "Paths to illustrator" from the export option

4. Exporting your file

After selecting your images and hiding your background, the next step is to export your chosen images – the square and the rectangle shape work. For that, scroll up to the screen’s left-hand side, on the menu toolbar, click on Files.

A drop-down box appears; scroll downwards and click on Export. Another mini drop-down box from Export opens up for you with three different export options: Path to illustrator, Render video, and Zoomify.

Click on Path Illustrator.

Dialogue box of exports path to file

Method 1: Path to File

Step 1: Exporting Path to File

The first way to export a file is Path to illustrator, as seen here. To use the Path to illustrator for exporting, select the named option, proceed, and select the dialogue box that appears on your screen.

In the dialogue box, you choose what to export with options of All files, Rectangle 1 shape path, and Ellipse 1 shape path. Depending on your discretion of what you desire to export, your options are broad, but for this step-by-step instruction, the option chosen is All files as the graphic designer wishes to export all items on the canvas.

After selecting the Path you want, click Ok on the top side of the dialogue box.

A "save" window box

Step 2: The save page

Once you select the desired Path to file for Export, a save page opens for you to make your final saving. You have the File name, which here is given as Circle + rectangle as the file exported comprises both contents. For the Save as type, you can only save your file as Adobe Illustrator because the default Save as type when exporting a selection is Adobe illustrator.

After selecting it, proceed and click Save at the bottom side of the same page. With that, you have exported your selection, using the Path to illustrator feature successfully.

Selecting "render video" in the exports options

Method 2: Using Render Video

Step 1: Exporting your selection using the Render video option

When you do any video on Photoshop, you can export your video selection through the Render video feature. Although the screen items are not video materials, an illustration still explains how it works.

Once you’ve selected your video, proceed to the topmost part of your screen and select File, scroll downwards on the drop-down menu box and select Export. Under Export, click on Render Video as your exporting feature.

A dialogue box for render video

Step 2: Render video feature

After selecting Render video, you have a dialogue box with different options for yourself. On the Dialogue box, you have your name option to change. For the format type, the Render feature has a wide range of formats from JPEG to PNG, Photoshop, etc. While exporting a file using Path to Illustration only permits a single saving format of Adobe Illustrator, the Render video feature enables the saving format in different styles.

After making all your necessary selections, scroll to the right-hand side of the Render video dialogue box, and select Render. By clicking on that, you’ve successfully exported your Photoshop video selection through the Render video feature.


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As a newbie or even an advanced graphic designer, there will be times you’ll need to export your work, images, videos, and documents in the best way possible; for this, Photoshop uses the export feature and provides three different ways to use it. Follow the simple steps and exporting anything on Photoshop becomes a simple task.