Tip: Keyboard Shortcut To Fill A Photoshop Layer (Or Selection) With The Background or Foreground Color

Photoshop tool palette color swatchesEver just want to fill a selection or layer with the background or foreground color in Photoshop? Forget heading all the way over to the palette to choose the Paintbucket tool – just press Command (Apple key)+Delete for the foreground color, or Option+Delete for the background color (Alt+Backspace and Control+Backspace on Windows).

And for a bonus tip (and one I often forget): Hold down the Shift key with either of the shortcuts, and the Fill will preserve transparency. This will result in only filling in color where there are actual pixels present in the layer, effectively tinting the pixels only in that layer with whatever the foreground or background color is. Cool!

And of course, you already know you can swap foreground & background colors using the X key, and can reset the foreground/background colors to the default (black/white) by pressing the D key.

7 thoughts on “Tip: Keyboard Shortcut To Fill A Photoshop Layer (Or Selection) With The Background or Foreground Color

  1. I’ve seen people use this technique in laying the foundation for digital coloring. What I’d like to know is if there are any good tutorials out there for someone who doesn’t have a tablet? I know getting one is a must but for now…I need a way to make coloring with the mouse more effective and enjoyable at least.?? I really need to get that tablet I know…..

  2. As far as the tablet, the only thing you cannot do using a mouse is have pressure support. Otherwise this tip is fine for non-tablet use.

    As far as the flat background technique, there are a lot of benefits such as using it for a mask, clipping path, or even a base layer of color. Also helps to use for way to make quick selections later on if you keep your base layer of color as flat shapes and add the color to another layer higher up, and use the blending modes such as Multiply or Overlay for shadows & highlights.

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