How to Replace Color With Transparency in PhotoShop

Written by daniel ketchum
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How to Replace Color With Transparency in PhotoShop
Use Photoshop to select and replace colours. (colour image by Yermashkevich Pavel from

Adobe Photoshop is used for many different purposes, from making web page layouts to creating simple animations. But it is most often used to edit or retouch photographic images. One interesting effect you can do using the tools in Photoshop is to make a single colour in an image disappear so the an underlying image or background will show through in its place. You might have thought that the process of removing all of the sections containing this colour would be long and complex, but it can be quickly accomplished using the functions of Photoshop.

Skill level:


  1. 1

    Load the image that you want to use onto your computer. You can do this by copying it from a camera, CD or SD card, or you can choose to scan it in. if you want to use another image as the background for your image, load it as well.

  2. 2

    Open Photoshop. Select "File" from the menu and click "Open." In the dialogue box that pops up, browse to the image that you want to use and open it.

  3. 3

    Right-click on the background layer in the "Layers" panel, and from the options, choose "Duplicate." Then select the background layer and click on the "New Layer" icon. Select the middle Layer.

  4. 4

    Select the "Paint Bucket" tool, and use it to fill the middle layer with the colour you want to use for you replacement colour. Alternatively, open the other image you loaded in Step 1, and use the "Copy" and "Paste" functions under "Edit" to paste the image into the middle layer.

  5. 5

    Select the top layer. Click "Selection" from the menu and click "Color Range." Use the "Eyedropper" tool to select the colour on the canvas you want to replace. Adjust the "Fuzziness" to expand or reduce the selection. Then click "OK."

  6. 6

    Click "Delete" on your keyboard, and the colour will be replaced. Save your work.

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