Changing Foreground and Background Colors

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In Photoshop, the foreground color is black by default and is used to paint, fill, and apply a border to a selection. The background color is white by default and is used to make gradient fills (gradual blends of multiple colors) and fill in areas of an image that have been erased. You can change foreground and background colors using the Color palette, the Swatches palette, the Color Picker, or the Eyedropper Tool. One method of changing foreground and background colors is sampling, in which an existing color is used. You can restore the default colors by clicking the Default Foreground and Background Colors button on the toolbox, shown in Figure 2. You can apply a color to the background of a layer using the Paint Bucket Tool. When you click an image with the Paint Bucket Tool, the current foreground color on the toolbox fills the active layer.

FIGURE 2

Foreground and background color buttons

Set foreground color button

Default Foreground and Background Colors button

witch Foreground and Background Colors button

Set background color button witch Foreground and Background Colors button

Set background color button

FIGURE 3

Image with rulers displayed

FIGURE 4

Color Settings dialog box

FIGURE 3

Image with rulers displayed

Your document size may differ

FIGURE 4

Color Settings dialog box

Intent list arrow

Set the default foreground and background colors

1. Start Photoshop, open PS 4-1.psd from the drive and folder where your Data Files are stored, then save it as Chili Shop.

2. Click the Default Foreground and Background Colors button on the toolbox.

3. Change the status bar so the document sizes display, if necessary.

TIP Document sizes will not display in the status bar if the image window is too small. Drag the lower-right corner of the image window to expand the window and display the menu button and document sizes.

4. Display the rulers in pixels (if necessary), then compare your screen to Figure 3.

TIP You can right-click (Win) or [control]-click (Mac) one of the rulers to choose Pixels, Inches, Centimeters, Millimeters, Points, Picas, or Percent as a unit of measurement, instead of using the Rulers and Units Preferences dialog box.

You set the default foreground and background colors and displayed rulers in pixels.

Creating a rendering intent

The use of a rendering intent determines how colors are converted by a color management system. A color management system is used to keep colors looking consistent as they move between devices. Colors are defined and interpreted using a profile. You can create a rendering intent by clicking Edit on the menu bar, then clicking Color Settings. Click the More Options button in the Color Settings dialog box, click the Intent list arrow shown in Figure 4, then click one of the four options. Since a gamut is the range of color that a color system can display or print, the rendering intent is constantly evaluating the color gamut and deciding whether or not the colors need adjusting. So, colors that fall inside the destination gamut may not be changed, or they may be adjusted when translated to a smaller color gamut.

Change the background color using the Color palette

1. Click the Background layer on the Layers palette.

2. Click the Color palette tab . Co[or (if it is not already selected).

3. Drag each color slider on the Color palette until you reach the values shown in Figure 5.

The active color changes to the new color. Did you notice that this image is using the RGB mode?

TIP You can also double-click each component's text box on the Color palette and type the color values.

4. Click the Paint Bucket Tool on the toolbox.

TIP If the Paint Bucket Tool is not visible on the toolbox, click the Gradient Tool on the toolbox, press and hold the mouse button until the list of hidden tools appears, then click the Paint Bucket Tool.

5. Click the image with the Paint Bucket pointer

6. Drag the Paint Bucket state on the History palette onto the Delete current state button ^ .

TIP You can also undo the last action by clicking Edit on the menu bar, then clicking Undo Paint Bucket.

You set new values in the Color palette, used the Paint Bucket Tool to change the background to that color, then undid the change. You can change colors on the Color palette by dragging the sliders or by typing values in the color text boxes.

FIGURE 6

Info palette

FIGURE 5

Color palette with new color

FIGURE 6

Info palette

X/Y coordinates

FIGURE 5

Color palette with new color

Active color selection box

Siider

Active color selection box

Siider

X/Y coordinates

Using ruler coordinates

Photoshop rulers run along the top and left sides of the document window. Each point on an image has a horizontal and vertical location. These two numbers, called X and Y coordinates, appear on the Info palette (which is located behind the Navigator palette) as shown in Figure 6. The X coordinate refers to the horizontal location, and the Y coordinate refers to the vertical location. You can use one or both sets of guides to identify coordinates of a location, such as a color you want to sample. If you have difficulty seeing the ruler markings, you can increase the size of the image; the greater the zoom factor, the more detailed the measurement hashes.

FIGURE 7

New foreground color applied to Background layer

13 Chili Shop.pad <p 100% (Background, RGB/8)

New foreground color

Change the background color using the Eyedropper Tool

1. Click the Background layer on the Layers palette.

2. Click the Eyedropper Tool on the toolbox.

3. Click the red pepper in the image at coordinates 215 X/210 Y with the Eyedropper pointer fi, using the Info palette and the blue guides to help ensure accuracy.

The Set foreground color button displays the red color that you clicked (or sampled).

4. Click the Paint Bucket Tool on the toolbox.

5. Click the image, then compare your screen to Figure 7.

I TIP Your color values on the Color palette I might vary from the sample.

6. Save your work.

You used the Eyedropper Tool to sample a color as the foreground color, then used the Paint Bucket Tool to change the background color to the color you sampled. Using the Eyedropper Tool is a convenient way of sampling a color in any Photoshop image.

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