Use the Magic Eraser to Remove Areas of Color with a Single Click

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Oftentimes, a designer needs to quickly remove an area of color from an image. Previously, this may have involved countless hours of erasing with the normal eraser, or drawing selections. An easier way to quickly remove an area of color is to use the Magic Eraser tool.

TRY IT To quickly remove an area of color from an image, such as the green background from the Eagle.psd file in the Photoshop 7 Samples folder, click and hold on the Eraser tool in the toolbox to reveal two additional eraser tools. The tool at the bottom of the menu is the Magic Eraser, which is also accessible on your keyboard by pressing SHIFT-E. (You may have to press SHIFT-E several times until you cycle through the other eraser tools and reach the Magic Eraser.)

To use the Magic Eraser, click once anywhere within the green background or on whichever color range you wish to remove. Photoshop automatically removes the color from those pixels, leaving them transparent (as shown in Figure 5-6 by the gray blocks behind the eagle).

You can edit the range of colors removed by increasing or decreasing the Tolerance in the Options bar; the higher the number, the wider the range of colors removed. For smooth edges, place a check mark in the box next to Anti-aliased. To restrict Photoshop to removing only pixels in the color range that are touching the one you click, place a check mark in the box labeled Contiguous. To reduce the opacity of the color range instead of removing it altogether, change the Opacity setting in the Options bar.


Want to get rid of that green "fringe" around the edge of the eagle that's left over from the background? See the next tip, "Remove Fringe Areas to Clean up Selections.

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