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How to Fill Selections with Solid Colors in Photoshop Elements 11

You won’t find a Fill tool in the Tools panel of Photoshop Elements 11. Elements avoids the crowded panel and places the Fill and Stroke commands on the Edit menu. When you want to fill your selection with just a solid color, you can use either the foreground or the background color, among other options. (These colors appear at the bottom of the Tools panel.)

The following steps show you the basics of filling a selection with either the foreground or background color:

  1. Choose the selection tool of your choice and create your selection on a layer.

    Although you don’t have to create a new layer, you should. That way, if you don’t like the filled selection, you can delete the layer, and the image or background below it remains safe.

  2. In the Tools panel, select either the foreground or the background color and then choose a fill color.

  3. Choose Edit→Fill Selection.

    Note that if you don’t have an active selection border in your image, the command says Fill Layer and the entire layer is filled with your color or pattern.

    The Fill Layer dialog box appears.

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  4. Choose a fill from the Use drop-down menu.

    You can select whether to fill with the foreground or background color.

    You also can choose Color, Black, 50% Gray, White, or Pattern. If you select Color or Pattern, you must complete a couple additional steps.

  5. In the Blending area, specify whether to preserve transparency.

    This option enables you to fill only the portions of the selection that contain pixels (the nontransparent areas).

    Although you can also choose a blend mode (how the fill color interacts with colors below it) as well as an opacity percentage in the Fill Layer dialog box, we don’t recommend doing so. Making adjustments on your layer later using the Layers panel commands gives you more flexibility for editing.

  6. Click OK.

    The color or pattern you chose fills the selection.

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