How to change the background color of your photos in Photoshop to make your images more striking

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  • You can change the background color of your photos in Adobe Photoshop as you see fit.
  • With the most recent version of Photoshop, you can quickly accomplish this with the Quick Selection Tool and Quick Mask mode.
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One of the most delightful aspects of Adobe Photoshop is the ability to reframe your favorite things in a more attractive light — or more specifically, a more attractive color. 

Once you learn how, it'll be easy to change the background color of nearly any picture in Photoshop. Here's what you'll need to know.

How to change the background color of an image in Photoshop

Double-check that your computer can support the most up-to-date version of Photoshop (in this case, Adobe Photoshop 2020), to follow these 12 steps and change the background color of your photo. 

1. Right-click on the Object Selection Tool from the toolbar on the left. The icon looks like a solid rectangle with a dotted line surrounding it.

2. Select "Quick Selection Tool." Your icon will now look like a paintbrush with a dotted outline around it. 

3. Tap "Select Subject," in the upper toolbar. For less up-to-date Adobe Photoshop versions, you'll have to manually outline the subject in the foreground.

4. Press the "Q" key on the keyboard to enable Quick Mask mode. This will help you identify and remedy any uncaptured pixels. Areas that have been captured as part of the background will be red. 

  • Zoom in (you can zoom by changing the percentage number in the bottom-left) so you can spot and fix the edges and details that may not have been automatically captured. Then, select the brush tool on the left toolbar. Paint in pixels as you see fit to be included, or not included, in the background. 
  • To include pixels in the background, paint them black with the brush tool. They should appear red in Quick Mask mode. To remove pixels from the background, paint them in white with the brush tool, and they'll be added to the subject.

5. When you're finished, zoom out, and tap "Q" again to exit Quick Mask mode.

6. Next, you'll create a fill layer, which you'll use to change the background color. 

7. Select "Solid Color" from the adjustment layer menu in the bottom-right. You'll see the words "Create new fill or adjustment layer." Select any color and click OK. 

8. Initially, the selected shade will color the subject, rather than the background. To flip that, select the layer mask icon, then tap "invert," located in the properties panel.

9. Double-click on the solid color thumbnail under the "Layers" tab, and select the color of your choice for the background.

Related coverage from Tech Reference:

  • How to resize an image in Photoshop and save it for optimal use on the web

  • How to rotate an image in Photoshop in 4 simple steps

  • How to unhide photos on an iPhone in a few simple steps using the Photos app

  • How to set a timer on your iPhone camera, and take a picture after a brief countdown

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