Of all the fill techniques, the Backspace key is by far the most convenient and, in most respects, every bit as capable as the others. The key's only failing is that it can neither fill a selection with a repeating pattern nor revert a selection to a previous state. But with the exception of those two items, you can rely on the Backspace key for the overwhelming majority of your fill needs.
Here's how to get a ton of functionality out of Backspace:
♦ Background color, method 1: To fill a selection on the background layer with solid background color, press Backspace. The selection outline remains intact.
Caution ♦ Background color, method 2: The problem with pressing Backspace is that it's unreliable. If the selection is floating, as I explain in Chapter 8, the Backspace key deletes it. The Backspace key also erases pixels on a layer. So there's no time like the present to get into a new habit — press Ctrl+Backspace instead. Ctrl+ Backspace fills the selection with the background color, no matter where it is.
♦ Foreground color: To fill a selection or a layer with solid foreground color, press Alt+Backspace. This works when filling floating and nonfloating selections alike.
♦ Black or white: To fill an area with black, press D to get the default foreground and background colors and then press Alt+Backspace. To fill an area with white, press D for the defaults and then Ctrl+Backspace.
♦ Preserve transparency: Add the Shift key and you get two more key tricks that make more sense when you read Chapter 12. (Don't worry, I'll repeat the tricks then.) You can fill only the opaque pixels in a layer—regardless of whether you locked the layer's transparency in the Layers palette — by pressing Shift. Press Shift+Alt+Backspace to fill a selection with the foreground color while preserving transparency. Press Ctrl+Shift+Backspace to fill the opaque pixels with the background color.
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