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Proper combination of pulsed laser fields allows optical control of electron inter(sub)band transitions in semiconductors leading to control of final state population. Based on a microscopic theory, we show that the final ratio of direct versus indirect excitons generated by a subpicosecond pump pulse in semiconductor double wells can be manipulated by simultaneous application of a resonant microwave pulse. Generalization and relevance of this result to other inter– and intersubband transitions is discussed. © 1997 American Institute of Physics.