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Chapter Six. Preferences, Settings, & Colors > Colorizing Black and Whites

Colorizing Black and Whites

Q1:Is there a quick way to fill with a color?
A1: You can use these keyboard shortcuts:
  • Option-Delete (PC: Alt-Backspace): Fill with Foreground.

  • Command-Delete (PC: Control-Backspace):Fill with Background.

  • Shift-Delete (PC: Shift-Backspace): Open Fill dialog.

Q2:How do I fill only part of a layer? I already have some pixels on a layer and only want to change the color of those pixels. When I try to fill the layer, the whole layer changes color. How do I get around this?
A2: You need to force the Fill command to ignore the transparent areas of the layer. You can do that in one of three ways:
  • Turn on Lock Transparent Pixels in the Layers palette, apply the Fill command (Edit>Fill), then unlock the pixels by clicking on the icon again.

  • In the Fill dialog, turn on the Preserve Transparency checkbox.

  • Use these keyboard shortcuts: Fill with Foreground color: Option-Shift-Delete(PC: Alt-Shift-Backspace); fill with Background color: Command-Shift-Delete(PC: Control-Shift-Backspace).

Q3:How do I change the color in part of an image?
A3: The function called Replace Color will attempt to select all pixels of one color and replace them with another color. You'll find the command under the Image>Adjustments menu. It works reasonably well with a bit of experimentation: Once your cursor changes to the Eyedropper, click within your image to select the color you want to replace, and then use the Fuzziness slider to fine-tune the selection. Now play with the Hue, Saturation, and Lightness sliders to alter the selected pixels (take advantage of the preview to see the color change interactively).
Q4:How do I colorize a grayscale image?
A4: First change the mode to RGB Color (Image>Mode). Then either (a) click on the Create a New Layer icon, change the layer blend mode to Color, and paint using the tool of your choice; or (b) make a selection using any selection tool, go to the Layers palette and chooseHue/Saturation from the Create New Adjustment Layer pop-up menu, turn on the Colorize checkbox in the resulting dialog, and then use the sliders to adjust the color.
Q5:Why can't I paint in color? I scanned an image, but when I try to paint in color, all I get are shades of gray in my Swatches palette.

A5: It is most likely that you scanned the image in Grayscale mode—that mode does not support color. Try looking under the Image>Mode submenu, and if Grayscale is selected, change it to RGB Color. If it already indicates RGB and you still only get gray as your color, check the settings for the painting tool (or layer) to make sure the blending mode is Normal.



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