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There are numerous features in Adobe Photoshop that can make certain tasks easier. If you need a different color and don’t want to use the pen or shape tool, you might be wondering how to fill a background layer in Photoshop.

The default background color in Photoshop CS6 is white. You may have changed your default settings to use a different default color or even a transparent background, but you will almost certainly need a different color background at some point.

Fortunately, filling a background layer in Photoshop CS6 is a simple process that can be applied to almost any other layer in almost any other image. You don’t have to stick to solid colors for your fill.

You can also use the content-aware feature introduced in Photoshop CS6 to fill your background with a pattern. With a bonus guide at the end of this article, we’ll even show you how to change the existing background color in Photoshop CS6.

How to Fill in Background in Photoshop

  1. Open your image.
  2. Select the Background layer.
  3. Click Select, then All.
  4. Click Edit, then Fill.
  5. Choose the Use dropdown menu and select Color.
  6. Select a color, click OK, then click OK again.

Our article continues below with more details on how to fill a background layer in Photoshop, including screenshots.

How to Fill a Background Layer in Photoshop CS6

For the purposes of this tutorial, we’ll use a solid color to fill the Photoshop CS6 background layer. It is the most basic and common option, and it will give everyone the same result. Patterns and the content-aware tool can produce a variety of interesting effects, but they require more customization and will produce significantly different results for different images.

1. To begin, open the image and select the background layer you want to fill.

If the Layers panel is not visible at the right side of the window, press the F7 key on your keyboard to display it.

2. Click the Background Layer from the Layers panel.

3. Click Select at the top of the window, then click the All option.

Conversely, you can press Ctrl + A on your keyboard to select the entire layer.

4. Click Edit at the top of the window, then click Fill.

5. Click the drop-down menu to the right of Use, then click the Color option.

6. Click the OK button to select the color you want to fill the background layer with, then click the OK button again to fill the background layer of your Photoshop CS5 image.

If you don’t like the effect, you can always undo the previous change by pressing Ctrl + Z on your keyboard.

Read this article to learn more about using the Fill command in Photoshop CS5.

Tip – If you’ve added image elements to your background and aren’t sure you want to remove them, consider making a new layer above your background layer and filling it. If you change your mind, you won’t lose the background layer data.

If the above steps don’t work because the background you want to change is part of a layer with other objects, try the steps below instead.

How to Change Background Color of an Image in Photoshop CS6

This set of steps will focus on separating your image’s background from the foreground objects so you can change the colors. This works best in images where the background and foreground objects have a distinct contrast. This becomes much more difficult if the colors are very similar or if the foreground elements do not stand out significantly from the background.

  1. Open the image in Photoshop CS5.
  2. Click the Quick Selection Tool in the toolbox.
  3. Click on the foreground object until it is entirely selected.
  4. Click the Refine Edge button at the top of the window.
  5. Check the box to the left of Smart Radius, then drag the Radius slider until your selected object looks correct. You can then click the OK button at the bottom of the window.
  6. Click Select at the top of the window, then click the Inverse option.
  7. Click Edit at the top of the window, then click Fill.
  8. Click the drop-down menu to the right of Use, then click the Color option.
  9.  Click the new color that you would like to use for your background image, then click the OK button.

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