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How to Get Rid of Marching Ants in Photoshop

Read Time: 3 mins
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So you're learning how to use Photoshop, you're testing the tools, and suddenly "marching ants" appear—tiny lines moving rhythmically over the screen. They can be pretty annoying because after they've appeared, nothing works the way it used to. So you may be wondering how to get rid of marching ants in Photoshop.

You may also know very well what these moving lines are, and you have a different problem with them—how to hide marching ants in Photoshop, so that you can benefit from their presence without them covering a part of your picture.

In this short tutorial, I'll answer both of these questions!

What You'll Learn in This Marching Ants Photoshop Tutorial

  • What are marching ants in Photoshop?
  • How to get rid of marching ants in Photoshop
  • How to hide marching ants in Photoshop

What You'll Need

You can use any photo for this tutorial, but if you like the picture of a cute ant that I've used, you can find it here:

1. What Are Marching Ants in Photoshop?

In Photoshop, you may often want to select one area of the image and edit it separately from the rest—or remove that part, copy it to a different layer, etc. Marching ants indicate the border of that selected area. So to bring the ants onto the screen for the purpose of this tutorial, you can use any of the selection tools:

selection toolsselection toolsselection tools

Here, I've used the Lasso Tool (L) to outline the head of the ant:

outline head with lasso tooloutline head with lasso tooloutline head with lasso tool

Now, I can use the Move Tool (V) to move the selected area somewhere else:

move the selected areamove the selected areamove the selected area

Or change the color of the head with the Hue/Saturation (Control-U) adjustment:

change the color of the headchange the color of the headchange the color of the head
color adjustment examplecolor adjustment examplecolor adjustment example

2. How to Get Rid of Marching Ants in Photoshop

OK, so you've edited your selected area, and now you want to get rid of the marching ants. How can you do it?

It's very simple: go to Select > Deselect, or use the Control-D shortcut.

how to deselect in photoshophow to deselect in photoshophow to deselect in photoshop

3. How to Hide Marching Ants in Photoshop

As you can see, the marching ants are very useful because they're showing you which area has been selected. However, if you want to see what the image will look like after editing, these ants may stand in the way. So if you want to hide the marching ants without removing the selection, use the Control-H shortcut.

how to hide the selectionhow to hide the selectionhow to hide the selection
By hiding the borders of the selection area, you get a direct preview of your edits

Caution: always remember to deselect (Control-D) after editing, or make the ants come back by pressing Control-H again. Otherwise, the invisible selection will stay there, leading to a lot of confusion later.

Good Job!

Now you know how to get rid of marching ants in Photoshop, as well as how to temporarily hide them when needed.

marching ants tutorial examplemarching ants tutorial examplemarching ants tutorial example

If you liked this marching ants Photoshop tutorial, you may also enjoy our other tutorials for beginners:

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