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How to Remove a Specific Color in Photoshop

Published: 24/05/2021

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Removing a particular color in an image is a common way to replace it with either another solid color or an abstract design. In this way, we can creatively redesign our photos and increase their appeal. Learning how to remove a specific color in Photoshop will enable you to add spectacular effects to your photo.

How to Remove a Specific Color in Photoshop Using Multiple Methods

Color removal technique is used in photography for creative as well as corrective purposes. In Photoshop, the basic steps for this technique involve selecting a color in the image, removing it using any of the features mentioned below, and then replacing the shade with another color. 

These methods come in handy to remove the green screen as well. Green screen is often used in Photography to later replace it with a fantasy background or visuals of any place where you can not travel. You can simply open the image in Photoshop and replace the solid green color with the background of your choice.

Here are a few quick and effective methods that can be used for removing a particular color in your image.

Remove a Color Using the Magic Wand Tool

Among the several selection tools that are a part of the best photography software, there is one that does magic. The Magic wand tool is a powerful tool for you as an editor as it makes a selection of pixels based on the same range of colors. 

Whichever color you click on, the magic wand will make a selection of similar color in the image, making it the best tool for removing a single color. 

Select an image and open it in Photoshop. Choose the Magic Wand tool, which is bundled up with the Quick Selection tool. You can access it by right clicking on the Quick Selection tool. You can also press the keyboard shortcut W to activate it. 

Set the Tolerance

Depending upon the lighting in your image, even the same color may have a lot of hues in the image. To include hue variations in your selection, go to the Magic Wand settings bar on top, and set the Tolerance between a range of 10-35.

You can then check whether this level of tolerance is making a comprehensive selection in your image. If you aren't satisfied, increase or decrease the Tolerance.

Make a Selection

Click on the color that you want to remove. Depending upon the uniformity of the hues, the Magic wand will select all the areas in your image with the same color. 

Selecting all the areas in your image with the same color using Photoshop Magic wand

Adjust the Selection

The magic wand tool may leave areas that need to be selected, or it can overdo the selection as well. 

If you want to refine your selection by adding or subtracting from it, you can easily do it. Hold down the SHIFT key while clicking on more areas to add, or the ALT / OPT key while clicking to subtract that area from the selection. 

There are icons for adding or subtracting from the selection in the Magic Wand tool setting bar, which you can alternatively use. 

Adjust the selection using Magic wand tool in Photoshop

Inverse Selection

Once you are satisfied with the selection, it’s time to inverse it. On a PC, press CTRL + SHIFT + I to invert the selection, or press CMD + SHIFT + I if you are a Mac user. 

Remove Color Permanently

Depending upon your choice, you can choose to delete the selected color permanently or in a non destructive way. 

To delete the color permanently, you don't need to inverse the selection. Just press Delete on your keyboard to remove the color. Remember that further adjustment is not possible if you delete the color in this way. 

Remove Color Non Destructively

Rather than deleting, add your inversed selection to a layer mask. Masking is undoubtedly one of the pillar tools of Photoshop. Using it will ensure non destructive color removal where you can easily remove the layer mask if you want to go back to the original version.

Once you have inverted the selection, click on the Create a New Mask icon which is found at the bottom of the Layers panel. You will see that the selected color is now removed. The advantage of using a layer mask is that you will be able to adjust or refine your selection later when you want.

Remove a Color Using Magic Eraser Tool

Another tool that makes a  color based selection is the Magic Eraser tool. This eraser can be found bundled up with the Eraser tool. The Magic Eraser erases a particular color from the image. It is suggested to be used on images with a defined colored area.

After opening the image in Photoshop, choose the Magic Eraser Tool from the toolbar. Set its tolerance level to 30 from the setting on top. On the right hand side panel, choose the color you want to remove. 

Now click on the image wherever the color is present. This is a quick method to remove the unwanted color in your image. 

Remove a Color Using Replace Color Option

How about removing the lush green color in an architectural or landscape shot and replacing it with white for a snow effect? 

Removing a color in Photoshop using Replace Color Option

You can do it easily by using this method to remove the green color and then replacing it with white. The feature that lets us do this is named Replace Color. 

Select the Replace Color Option 

Start by opening your image in Adobe Photoshop CC. Make a duplicate of your image by selecting Image > Duplicate. Choose the duplicate image tab to work on color removal. 

Select the background layer from the Layers panel. Go up to the Image menu on top and hover the cursor on the Adjustments option. From the submenu, select Replace Color.

Choose the Settings in Replace Mask Settings

When the Replace Color Dialog box opens, you need to choose the color to be replaced, result color, and other settings. Firstly, set the fuzziness slider between 20-30. This determines the tolerance of varying hues that need to be selected. Set the color you want instead of the current color.

In this particular image, we need to get rid of green and replace it with white, so the result color is chosen as white.

Choosing the settings in Replace Mask settings to remove a specific color

Select the Color With the Eyedropper

Now with the eyedropper tool, select the color from the image that you need to remove. Choose the eyedropper with the plus sign to add to the selection or the one with a minus to deselect any area that doesn’t need to be selected. You can also press CTRL / CMD + Z to undo an accidental selection.

Make Further Adjustments 

Once you have selected the proper settings and hues, click on OK. As you can see in the image above, all the green is now gone and replaced with white which gives an effect of naturally fallen snow in our image. 

Conclusion

We hope that the various methods we have explained above will help you carry out the color removal very easily in Photoshop. Try experimenting with any of these methods, and you will agree that they are very straightforward. Stay tuned for more Photoshop tutorials coming up to help you turn into an editing pro. 

PFRE Team
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