• Using a Shortcut for Recoloring Layers in Photoshop and PSE

    Using a shortcut to change the color of a layer in Photoshop saves time while digitally crafting. In the previous tip, we used a shortcut for quickly recoloring text in Photoshop and Elements. In this tip, we'll tweak that shortcut to change the color of a layer, even a layer with transparency like word art, digital brushes and stamps, page blends and stamped blocks.

    Begin by opening a new digital document, a piece of patterned paper and a .png image with transparent sections.

    • Get the Eyedropper tool (press I on the keyboard) and click somewhere on the patterned paper document to select a color. This will change the foreground chip to the color you selected.
    • Next, use the Move tool to drag the .png image onto the new blank document.
    • Target the background layer of the new document by clicking it. The bottom layer in the Layers panel will become highlighted. Then press Alt Backspace (Mac: Opt Delete) on the keyboard.
    • This causes the background to be recolored, matching the color you selected with the Eyedropper (the Foreground color).
    • To recolor the .png image, you’ll need to add a step. Simply selecting the layer and pressing the shortcut keys will fill the entire layer with color – not the look you are trying to achieve. So to make sure that only the image is recolored, first select the .png image layer and click the Lock: transparent pixels icon in the layers panel. It looks like a checkerboard in Photoshop. In Elements, the icon is a checkerboard with a lock on it. Then you can press Alt Backspace (Mac: Opt Delete) to fill the opaque pixels of the image with color.


    You can use this method to quickly color and recolor layers on any project you may be working on.