2 Great Tools To Remove All Of One Color In Photoshop

If you’re looking for a quick way to remove all of one color in Photoshop, there are a couple of great tools. Rather than having to make a complicated selection around your subject, working with color can be much faster. With just a few clicks, you can create an accurate selection that will completely erase a selected color range. In this tutorial, you’ll learn how to do just that. Here’s how to remove all of one color in Photoshop!

How To Remove All Of One Color In Photoshop

There are two different tools you can use for this. The first is called Select Color Range, while the other is called the Magic Wand Tool. Both of these tools work by sampling color and turning it into a selection.

If you need to cut out a person, for example, this technique will only work if they’re against a solid colored background.

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A good example for these techniques.

If there are too many variations in color, you run the risk of accidentally selecting part of your subject. To avoid this, be selective when you use this technique.

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A bad example for these techniques.

These methods will work best when one color is abundant. Removing a logo from a white background is a perfect situation for this. Since there’s a solid color behind the logo, it’s extremely easy to select with these methods.

Now I know what you’re thinking. Not every photo has a perfectly colored background, and that’s okay. With the tools below, you’ll learn how to select and delete similar hues of color all at once!

The Magic Wand Tool

The Magic Wand Tool might actually seem like magic when you first use it. Depending on the color you click, it will create a selection around similar colors.

In a nutshell, the Magic Wand Tool is exceptionally good at selecting large chunks of similar colors to create a selection.

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In the instance where you want to remove all of one color, there may be no better tool for the job!

– Refining Your Tool Settings

To access the Magic Wand Tool, press W. 

If you don’t see it, it’s hidden under the Quick Selection Tool. Click and hold on the Quick Selection Icon to reveal the Magic Wand Tool.

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Right away, you can click anywhere on your canvas to make a new selection. Just remember, it will make a selection based on the color you click.

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If there are a lot of variations in hue, it’s worthwhile to increase the tolerance. You can do this in your top settings bar by typing in any number in the tolerance box.

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If you aren’t sure, stick with a tolerance between 10 – 30. This range is a good starting ground and will include slight hue variations.

With the tolerance set, I’ll click on the background to create a new selection. In this case, I want to delete all of the pink backdrop.

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– Adjusting Your Selection

It’s not uncommon for the Magic Wand Tool to miss a few spots. Rather than starting all over, you can add to your selection.

To add to your selection, hold the Shift key and click on the colors you’d like to include.

You can repeat this process as many times as necessary to select all of the colors you want to remove.

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As you do this, you might accidentally select something you don’t want to delete. In that case, hold Option (Mac) or Alt (PC) and click on the selected areas you wish to remove.

– How To Remove All Of One Color With The Magic Wand Tool

Once you have a selection, it’s easy to remove all of one color in Photoshop. Before you do so, you need to decide whether to do it permanently or non-destructively.

To remove the color permanently would mean that you cannot make adjustments to this later. Once the color is gone, you can’t refine or adjust the deleted area afterward.

To remove a color non-destructively, you would add your selection to a layer mask. This allows you to adjust the selection area later on if you need to.

The choice is entirely yours, so I’ll share both options.

– Removing Color Permanently

With your selection active, press the Delete key to erase everything inside of your selection. Now you’ve successfully removed all of one color, but you can’t go back and refine this later.

– Removing Color Via Layer Mask

With an active selection, press Shift + Command + I (Mac) or Shift + Control + I (PC) to inverse your selection.

Next, select the image layer and add a layer mask.

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Your selection will automatically apply itself to the layer mask and turn your selected color invisible.

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The advantage of this method is you can refine edges if something went wrong with the selection. It’s always nice to have the ability to make changes!

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Now you’ve successfully learned how to remove all of one color in Photoshop using the Magic Wand Tool. Now let’s discuss the Select Color Range tool!

The Select Color Range Tool

Unlike the Magic Wand Tool, Select Color Range uses the eyedropper tool to sample colors in your photo. From these samples, it creates a selection based on a grayscale that is later turned into a selection.

That may sound incredibly complicated, but I promise it’s not. Let me prove it.

To access the Select Color Range Tool go to Select > Color Range.

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The select color dialogue box will appear, and in this, you have a few options. The ones you should focus on first are the view settings.

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– Best View Settings For Select Color

To get the best results, you’ll want to set your image preview to ‘selection’ and your selection preview to ‘grayscale.’

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At first, this looks very convoluted, but it’s simple to understand once you think of it as a layer mask.

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Anything that you see that’s white is 100% visible, aka selected.

Anything black is 100% transparent, aka not selected.

All the shades of grey in between represent different levels of transparency. This means that 50% grey will leave that area 50% visible.

To remove all of one color in Photoshop, you want to make your select color as close to 100% white and black as possible.

– How To Create A Selection With The Select Color Range Tool

With this in mind, click anywhere on your image to sample the color you want to remove.

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Next, hold Shift and click on your image to add more color samples to the same selection.

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If you accidentally sample something you don’t want, hold Option (Mac) or Alt (PC) and click to de sample color.

Rinse and repeat until you have gotten most of your color added to the selection area. To help refine your selection further, you can use the fuzziness slider.

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The fuzziness slider works by adjusting the tolerance of the selection area. The higher the fuzziness, the more lenient Photoshop will be with which colors get selected.

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Now, if you lower the fuzziness, Photoshop will be much pickier with which colors get selected.

There’s no ‘perfect’ way to do this since the best fuzziness will change from image to image. Try moving the slider up and down to see the results it creates.

Once you’re happy, click OK to turn your grayscale into a selection.
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– How To Remove Color With The Select Color Range Tool

With your current selection, you’re once again faced with the choice to delete the selection contents or create a layer mask.

To permanently delete the contents of your selection, press the delete key. This will remove all of one color in your photo, but there’s no way to refine this later.

To create a layer mask, first you’ll need to invert your selection. To do this, press Shift + Command + I (Mac) or Shift + Control + I (PC) to swap your selection area.

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Next, select your image layer, and add a layer mask.

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Adding a layer mask will make your selected color invisible, but you can still refine this selection.

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Just as before, the choice is yours! Both options will achieve the same result.

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Conclusion

With that, you’ve learned how to remove all of one color in Photoshop with the help of two great tools. The Magic Wand Tool was truly built for selecting a single color in bulk. If you want a straightforward solution to removing color in Photoshop, this is your answer. With that said, the Select Color Range Tool offers a ton of value as well. Instead of dealing with tool settings, you just click around to create a selection. If you aren’t familiar with layer masks, this may seem a bit tricky as first, but it does get easier! Both tools are handy and offer fast and effective ways to remove all of one color in Photoshop.

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– Brendan 🙂