Learn how to quickly transform a black and white photo to color or change the colors in specific areas of a photo.

Automatically colorize a photo

  1. Open a photo in Photoshop Elements.

    Colorize a photo
    Import a photo to colorize
  2. Choose Enhance > Colorize Photo. You can also press Option+Command+R (macOS)/Alt+Ctrl+R (Windows).

  3. A preview is generated in the Colorize Photo workspace. Four color options will appear in the panel on the right. Choose the option that works best for you.

    Auto preset applied in Colorize Photo
    Click the Before/After toggle to compare results with the original photo.
  4. Click OK or click Reset if you want to return to the original photo.

Change colors in specific areas of a photo

  1. Open a photo in Photoshop Elements.

  2. Choose Enhance > Colorize Photo. You can also press Option+Command+R (macOS)/Alt+Ctrl+R (Windows).

  3. Switch the toggle in the right panel to select Manual.

  4. In the right panel, use the Quick Selection Tool or Magic Wand Tool to select the areas where you want to change the color.

  5. Click the Droplet tool and add the droplet in the selection to mark the area you want to recolor. You can add multiple droplets based on your needs.

    Add a droplet to change color of the selection
    Add a droplet in the selection to change color.

    Note:

    To focus on one selection at a time, press Control+D (Win)/Cmd+D (macOS). You can also choose SelectDeselect to remove the existing selection before making a new selection.

  6. For each droplet, a set of customized colors is displayed in the Color Palette. Simply select a droplet (selected droplets appear with a blue outline) and click the desired color from the Color Palette.

    You can also use the vertical slider in the All Applicable Colors panel or use the   icon to select a desired color. 

    The last used color appears next to the Color Palette swatches. You can use this to select the previously used color.

    Change color of the area by adding a droplet
    Manually change colors in your photo.

    Switch off the Show Droplets toggle to view the result without droplets. You can also view the original and edited photo using the Before-After toggle. To cancel all changes and to return to the original photo, click Reset.

  7. Once you're happy with the result, click OK.