Select a range of colors
The Color Range command selects a specified color or color range within an existing selection or an entire image. If you want to replace a selection, be sure to deselect everything before applying this command. The Color Range command is not available for 32‑bits-per-channel images.
To refine an existing selection, use the Color Range command repeatedly to select a subset of colors. For example, to select the green areas in a cyan selection, select Cyans in the Color Range dialog box, and click OK. Then reopen the Color Range dialog box, and select Greens. (The results are subtle because this technique selects parts of colors within a color mix.)
In Photoshop CC and Photoshop CS6, you can also select skin tones, and automatically detect faces to select them. To create a selection that preserves skin tones while you adjust the color of everything else, select Invert below the eyedropper samplers.
- (CC and CS6 only) Choose Skin Tones to select colors that resemble common skin tones. Enable Detect Faces for more accurate skin tone selection. See Selecting Skin Tones for a quick video demonstration by Peachpit.
- Choose Sampled Colors to enable the Eyedropper tool and pick sample colors from the image. If you are selecting multiple color ranges in the image, select Localized Color Clusters to build a more accurate selection.
Previews the selection that will result from the colors you sample in the image. By default, white areas are selected pixels, black areas are unselected, and gray areas are partially selected.
Previews the entire image. For example, you might want to sample from a part of the image that isn’t on‑screen.
To toggle between the Image and Selection previews in the Color Range dialog box, press Ctrl (Windows) or Command (Mac OS).
For sampled colors, position the Eyedropper pointer over the image or preview area, and click to sample the colors you want included.Sampling color
To adjust the selection:
- To add colors, select the plus eyedropper, and click in the preview area or image.
To activate the plus eyedropper temporarily, hold down Shift. Hold down Alt (Windows) or Option (Mac OS) to activate the minus eyedropper.
- Adjust the range of colors selected using the Fuzziness slider or by entering a value. The Fuzziness setting controls how wide a range of colors is in the selection, and increases or decreases the amount of partially selected pixels (gray areas in the selection preview). Set a low Fuzziness value to restrict the color range, a higher value to increase the range.Increasing fuzziness expands selection
If you selected Localized Color Clusters, use the Range slider to control how far or near a color must be from the sample points to be included in the selection. For example, your image contains a patch of yellow flowers in both the foreground and the background, but you want to select just the foreground flowers. Sample the colors in the foreground flowers and reduce the Range so that the similarly colored flowers in the background are not selected.
shows white for completely selected pixels, gray for partially selected ones, and black for unselected ones.
Shows the original image for selected pixels, and black for unselected ones. This option is good for bright images.
Shows the original image for selected pixels, and white for unselected ones. This option is good for dark images.
If you see the message “No pixels are more than 50% selected,” the selection border will not be visible. You may have picked a color choice from the Select menu, such as Reds, when the image didn’t contain any red hues with high enough saturation.
From an expert: Adjusting skin tones
Save Skin Tones settings as a preset | Creative Cloud only
The Color Range selections command now saves Skin Tones selections as a preset. It can also save the setting for the Detect Faces option when Skin Tones or Sampled Colors are selected.
To save Skin Tones settings as a preset: