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Friday, December 10, 2010

Quick (and result) Fills

The 2 fills I use most often have slightly different behaviours.
The first is just a standard area fill. Pressing ALT+BACKSPACE will fill the whole of your layer with your foreground colour.  If you have a text layer selected, it will change the text colour, and if you have a marquee selection of some form, it will fill the whole of the selected area (if the layer type allows this, does not work on vector shapes).  This is again useful with the quick colour selection hotkeys above.  (D), ALT+BACKSPACE will fill your layer with solid black.
The second, and slightly more useful fill type, fills the area while maintaining transparency.  What this means is say you have a complex clearcut shape, and you wanted to make the whole shape black without messing around with selections or channels, you would press ALT+SHIFT+BACKSPACE, and you’d see the shape be completely filled with your foreground colour, while maintaining the transparency level of each pixel.  An example is shown below:

This is an excellent way to retain nice antialiasing on your shapes.  It also works with marquee selections, and will fill the non-transparent area within the selection.
To be honest I have no idea how to do this using Photoshop’s menus, as I’ve always used hotkeys, but I’m sure there is a way (maybe someone could let us know in the comments.
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