You can fill the inside of a selection, path, or layer with a color or pattern. You can also add color to the outline of a selection or path, called stroking.

Fill with the Paint Bucket tool

The Paint Bucket tool fills adjacent pixels that are similar in color value to the pixels you click.


The Paint Bucket tool cannot be used with images in Bitmap mode.

  1. Choose a foreground color. (See Choose colors in the toolbox.)
  2. Select the Paint Bucket tool .


    The Paint Bucket tool is grouped with the Gradient tool in the toolbar. If you can’t find the Paint Bucket tool, click and hold the Gradient tool to access it.

  3. Specify whether to fill the selection with the foreground color or with a pattern.
  4. Specify a blending mode and opacity for the paint. (See Blending modes.)

  5. Enter the tolerance for the fill.

    The tolerance defines how similar in color a pixel must be (to the pixel you click) to be filled. Values can range from 0 to 255. A low tolerance fills pixels within a range of color values very similar to the pixel you click. A high tolerance fills pixels within a broader range.

  6. To smooth the edges of the filled selection, select Anti-aliased.
  7. To fill only pixels contiguous to the one you click, select Contiguous; leave Contiguous unselected to fill all similar pixels in the image.
  8. To fill pixels based on the merged color data from all visible layers, select All Layers.
  9. Click the part of the image you want to fill. All specified pixels within the specified tolerance are filled with the foreground color or pattern.

    If you’re working on a layer and don’t want to fill transparent areas, make sure that the layer’s transparency is locked in the Layers panel. (See Lock layers.)

Fill a selection or layer with color

  1. Choose a foreground or background color. (See Choose colors in the toolbox.)
  2. Select the area you want to fill. To fill an entire layer, select the layer in the Layers panel.
  3. Choose Edit > Fill to fill the selection or layer. Or to fill a path, select the path, and choose Fill Path from the Paths panel menu.
  4. In the Fill dialog box, choose one of the following options for Use, or select a custom pattern:

    Foreground Color, Background Color, Black, 50% Gray, or White

    Fills the selection with the specified color.


    If you fill a CMYK image using the Black option, Photoshop fills all the channels with 100% black. This may result in more ink than is allowable by the printer. For best results when filling a CMYK image, use the Foreground option with the foreground color set to an appropriate black.


    Fills with a color you select from the Color Picker.

  5. Specify the blending mode and opacity for the paint. (See Blending modes.)

  6. If you’re working in a layer and want to fill only areas containing pixels, choose Preserve Transparency.
  7. Click the OK button to apply the fill.


    To apply a foreground color fill only to the areas that contain pixels, press Alt+Shift+Backspace (Windows) or Option+Shift+Delete (Mac OS). This preserves the transparency of the layer. To apply a background color fill only to the areas that contain pixels, press Ctrl+Shift+Backspace (Windows) or Command+Shift+Delete (Mac OS).

Use Content-aware, pattern, or history fills

For information about the Edit > Content-Aware Fill option introduced in Photoshop CC 20.0 (October 2018 release), see Content-Aware Fill.

  1. Select the part of the image you want to fill.
  2. Choose Edit > Fill.


    On the Background layer, press Delete or Backspace to quickly access the Fill dialog box.

  3. From the Use menu, select one of the following:


    Seamlessly fills the selection with similar image content nearby. For the best results, create a selection that extends slightly into the area you want to replicate. (A quick lasso or marquee selection is often sufficient.)


    Content-aware fills randomly synthesize similar image content. If you don’t like your original results, choose Edit > Undo, and apply another content-aware fill.

    Color Adaptation

    (Enabled by default) Algorithmically blends the color of the fill with the surrounding color

    Photoshop Content aware fill with Color Adaptation
    Content-aware fill with Color Adaptation


    Click the inverted arrow next to the pattern sample, and select a pattern from the pop‑up panel. You can load additional patterns using the pop‑up panel menu. Select the name of a library of patterns, or choose Load Patterns and navigate to the folder containing the patterns you want to use.

    (CC, CS6) You can also apply one of five included Scripted Patterns to easily create a variety of geometic fill patterns. Select Scripted Patterns at the bottom of the fill dialog box, and then choose a fill pattern from the Script pop-up menu.


    If Pattern is dimmed, you need to load a pattern library prior to making a selection. (See Manage pattern libraries and presets.)


    Restores the selected area to the source state or snapshot set in the History panel.

Photoshop Content aware fill
Content-aware fill

A. Create selection that extends slightly into area you want to replicate. B. Seamlessly replace selection with Content-aware fill. 

Fill the work canvas

The work canvas surrounds the image area. You can fill the canvas with a different color that contrasts better with a given image.

  1. Right-click the work canvas, and choose Gray, Black, or Custom. (To specify the custom color, choose Select Custom Color.)

Stroke a selection or layer with color

You can use the Stroke command to paint a colored border around a selection, path, or layer. When you create a border this way, it becomes a rasterized part of the current layer.


To create shape or layer borders that can be turned on or off like overlays and are anti-aliased to create softer-edged corners and edges, use the Stroke layer effect instead of the Stroke command. See Layer effects and styles.

  1. Choose a foreground color.
  2. Select the area or layer you want to stroke.
  3. Choose Edit > Stroke.
  4. In the Stroke dialog box, specify the width of the hard-edged border.
  5. For Location, specify whether to place the border inside, outside, or centered over the selection or layer boundaries.


    If the layer contents fill the entire image, a stroke applied outside the layer will not be visible.

  6. Specify an opacity and a blending mode. (See Blending modes.)

  7. If you’re working in a layer and want to stroke only areas containing pixels, select the Preserve Transparency option. (See Lock layers.)

Draw a circle or square

You can draw a circle or square using the elliptical or rectangular marquee tools, and then add a line (called a stroke) to the selection marquee. Stroking a selection is a quick way to add a border or frame around an object. You can stroke any selection you create with the selection tools.

  1. In the Layers panel, click the New Layer button  to create a new layer for the circle or square. Isolating the circle or square on its own layer makes it easier to work with.
  2. Select the Elliptical Marquee tool  or the Rectangular Marquee tool  in the toolbox.
  3. Drag in the document window to create the shape. Hold down the Shift key while dragging to constrain the shape to a circle or square.
  4. Choose Edit > Stroke.
  5. In the Stroke dialog box, type a value for Width, and then click the color swatch to display the Adobe Color Picker.
  6. In the Adobe Color Picker, locate the color range you want using the triangle sliders on the color spectrum bar, and then click the desired color in the color field. The color you select appears in the top half of the color swatch. The original color remains in the bottom half. Click OK.
  7. Set the location for the stroke in relationship to the marquee by choosing Inside, Center, or Outside. Adjust the other settings as desired, and click OK. Photoshop strokes the line using the color and stroke settings you set.

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