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  2. Adobe Photoshop

How to Remove a Color in Photoshop

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If you want to remove a certain color from an image, it can be really handy to know how to remove a color in Photoshop. Let's take a look at an easy way how to remove a certain color in Photoshop, and some different things we can do with this process too.

Remove Color in PhotoshopRemove Color in PhotoshopRemove Color in Photoshop
Stock Photography from Envato Elements.

What You'll Learn in This Photoshop Tutorial

  • How to remove one color in Photoshop
  • How to remove a color from a photo
  • How to remove a background color in Photoshop
  • Within Photoshop, remove a color without deleting your content

Keep in mind that there are many ways to remove a color from a photo in Photoshop—many tools have some overlap! Take these techniques and use them in the way that best suits your project. For example, this would also help with how to remove one color in Photoshop if your work is illustrative too.

What You'll Need

We'll experiment with these photographs to demonstrate how to remove a color in Photoshop. However, these techniques could work in any photo of your choice. 

Extra tip: If you're wondering how to make the background transparent in Photoshop, you can watch the following video tutorial from the Envato Tuts+ YouTube channel.

How to Remove a Color in Photoshop

Step 1

There are many ways to approach removing a color in Photoshop. As a general overview, we're looking to make a selection (in this case, our color) and then manipulate that selection (typically removing or masking the content). So, if you're familiar with Photoshop, you'll recognize that many tools could help you achieve this end.

As an example, let's start with how to remove a background color in Photoshop. Then, we'll take these concepts and apply them to see how to remove a color from Photoshop for another scenario.

Let's try using Color Range to make this process quick and simple. We'll use this image from Envato Elements to demonstrate how it works. 

Go to Select > Color Range to begin.

Photoshop Color RangePhotoshop Color RangePhotoshop Color Range

Step 2

Here's a look at the Color Range dialog box. At the top, make sure Select is set to Sampled Colors.

Let's also customize our Selection Preview, at the bottom of the dialog box. This will help us better refine and decide on our selection.

We'll choose Black Matte from the dropdown menu for this demonstration, although you can experiment with any of the views here you prefer. Note, if we keep this option set to None, we will not see a selection preview in our main work area while we work.

Photoshop Selection PreviewPhotoshop Selection PreviewPhotoshop Selection Preview

Step 3

Now, let's work with the Eyedropper Tool from within this dialog box. Just like the normal Eyedropper Tool from our Tools panel, we can use this tool to select and remove all of one color from an image.

We have three choices:

  • Eyedropper Tool: use this tool to easily select the color you'd like to work with.
  • Add to Sample: this will add to your selection. So, for example, you could choose more than one color this way.
  • Subtract from Sample: this will do the opposite: it'll deselect from your sample.

In the case of this demonstration, let's use the Eyedropper Tool to select the yellow color in the background. Since our goal is to remove all of one color from an image, just click on the color you would like to select. 

Next, click on Invert under those Eyedropper tools. In this example, this option will make the color our selection, rather than the subject. Since we're looking to remove a certain color from an image, we want that selected.

You'll notice that the color we selected has been removed and replaced with black in our preview. 

Photoshop Eyedropper ToolPhotoshop Eyedropper ToolPhotoshop Eyedropper Tool

Step 4

But this selection isn't perfect—you'll likely want to make refinements. Try turning the Fuzziness all the way up to 200, and notice the difference. As with many aspects of Photoshop, there's no perfect one-size-fits-all value, so experiment with this until you get a clean selection for your work.

Once you're happy with your work, click OK to continue.

Photoshop Color Range FuzzinessPhotoshop Color Range FuzzinessPhotoshop Color Range Fuzziness

Step 5

You'll notice that we're left with a selection—not a result where our color has been removed. Note the dashed lines around the subject in the screenshot below. This is how we know this space is currently selected. This selection is an essential part of how to remove a certain color in Photoshop.

While you could delete the color, I recommend either masking your work or using layers to your advantage instead. This way, you'll have the freedom to adjust any time you want—rather than doing something as permanent as deletion.

Turn to your Layers panel. You can find it by going to Window > Layers

Let's try adding a mask. Click on the Add a Mask button, at the bottom of the Layers panel.

Photoshop Layers PanelPhotoshop Layers PanelPhotoshop Layers Panel

Step 6

And now, we've removed the yellow from our image (although "hidden" is a bit more accurate). Keep in mind, because we used a mask, we didn't permanently delete our selection. Looking at the Layers panel, you can right-click on the mask to add to it, delete it, and refine it. 

Photoshop MaskPhotoshop MaskPhotoshop Mask

Step 7

Keep in mind, you don't necessarily have to turn to a mask when removing a color in Photoshop this way. Using the same method, we can remove the yellow from the T-shirt in this second photograph. 

Instead of making a mask (after Step 5), simply Create a New Layer, and then Fill the selected area with black, and change the Blending Mode to Color.

This is just an example of another quick and easy way we can remove color using Color Range selections.

Photoshop Remove ColorPhotoshop Remove ColorPhotoshop Remove Color

Now You Know How to Remove a Color in Photoshop

Now that you know how to remove a color from a photo, what kind of edits would you create? Within Photoshop, remove a color to create mockups, transparent images, replace content, and much more. Try adding new colors, as I did below! 

Removing Colors in PhotoshopRemoving Colors in PhotoshopRemoving Colors in Photoshop

Learn More About Adobe Photoshop

Want to learn more about Adobe Photoshop? There are so many awesome free tutorials here on Envato Tuts+ to check out. Why not dig in and push your Photoshop skills further? Check out these free tutorials today.

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