Photoshop : Tutorial – Replacing Colours

With the Replace Colour command in Photoshop, you can create temporary masks based on specific colours and then replace these colours. (A mask isolates an area of an image so that changes affect just the selected area and not the rest of the image.) The Replace Colour dialog box contains options for adjusting the hue, saturation, and lightness components of the selection: Hue is colour, Saturation is the purity of the colour, and Lightness is how much white or black is in the image.

In this tutorial, we’re going to look at how to use the Replace Colour command to change the colour of part of a baskeball court.

1. Open an image that you want to change part of the colour with. I’m using a stock image from iStockphoto.

2. Choose Image > Adjustments > Replace Colour.

The Replace Colour dialog box opens, and by default, the Selection area displays a black representation of the current selection.

Notice the three eyedropper tools in the Replace Colour dialog box. One selects a colour; the second adds a colour to the sample; the third removes a colour from the sample.

3. Using the Eyedropper tool (), click anywhere in the blue part of the court to sample that colour.

4. Then, use the Add to Sample eyedropper () to sample other areas of the blue part (the shadow of the basket for example) until the blue part is selected and highlighted in the mask display in the Replace Colour dialog box.

5. Drag the Fuzziness slider up to 190 to increase the tolerance level slightly.

Fuzziness controls the degree to which related colours are included in the mask.

6. If the mask display includes any white areas that are light blue part of the court, get rid of those now: Select the Subtract from Sample eyedropper () and click those areas in either the image window or in the Replace Colour mask display to remove those stray pixels. (It’s OK if a few remain in the selection.)

7. In the Replacement area of the Replace Colour dialog box, drag the Hue slider to –180, the Saturation slider to +3, and the Lightness slider to – 19. ( You may have slightly different values to achieve an orange colour.

As you change the values, in hue, saturation, and lightness, and the colour of the basketball court that has been selected becomes orange.

8. Click OK to apply the changes.


  1. Sanjeev says:

    Hi Jennifer,
    Thanks for the quick tutorial! I had been trying to use this feature but never really got the hang of it.. just tried again and it worked!


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  4. Aaron says:

    For some reason when I do the the result is gray instead of the color I have chosen for the result. Weird.

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