Working with the Color Picker in Photoshop Elements 10

The Color Picker is just one of the ways that Photoshop Elements 10 gives you to choose your foreground and background colors. By default, Photoshop Elements 10 uses a black foreground color and a white background color. If you’re experimenting with color and want to go back to the default color, press the D key. If you want to swap between foreground and background colors, press the X key.

Before you start drawing or painting, you may want to change your color to something other than the default black. You may have checked out the Elements Tools panel and noticed the two overlapping color swatches at the bottom of the panel. These two swatches represent the two categories of color: foreground and background.

Here’s a quick look at how they work with different tools:

  • When you add type, paint with the Brush tool, or create a shape, you’re using the foreground color.

  • On the background layer of an image, when you use the Eraser tool, or when you increase the size of your canvas, you’re accessing the background color.

  • When you drag with the Gradient tool, so long as your gradient is set to the default, you’re laying down a blend of color from the foreground to the background.

If you want any other color of the rainbow, click your desired swatch to change either the foreground or background color. This action transports you to the Color Picker.

Here are the steps to choose your color via the Color Picker:

  1. Click either the foreground or background color swatch on the Tools panel.

    The Color Picker appears.

  2. Drag the color slider or click the color bar to get close to the general color you desire.

  3. Choose the exact color you want by clicking in the large square, or color field, on the left.

    The circle cursor targets your selected color. The two swatches in the upper-right corner of the dialog box represent your newly selected color and the original foreground or background color.

    The numeric values on the right side of the dialog box change according to the color you selected. If you happen to know the values of your desired color, you may also enter them in the text boxes. RGB (red, green, blue) values are based on brightness levels, from 0 (black) to 255 (white). You can also enter HSB (hue, saturation, brightness) values, or the hexadecimal formula for web colors.

  4. When you’re happy with your color, click OK.

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