There are a number of ways to select colors in Photoshop. This post discuss about Color Picker panel, Color panel and Swatches panel.

Working with Color Picker

  • Click the foreground or the background color swatch as shown in the below image.
  • It will bring up the Color Picker.
  • If I want to change the saturation and the brightness, click in the large square. Drag the little elevator adjacent to large square to change the hue.
  • If you prefer to choose a color using another color model as shown in below image, we can click on any of these buttons.
  • You can also click in the image in order to select a color while you’re in the color picker.
  • Switch to the color libraries, to select from different Pantone books and other color libraries.
  • If I want to add a color to swatches, click on Add to Swatches, give it a name and click okay. We can see it appear in my swatches panel.
  • To reset the color picker, click on small thumbnails top left of foreground swatches, or tap the D key to select my default colors.
  • To swap the foreground and background colors, click the double-headed arrows top right of foreground swatches, or tap the X key.
Foreground/Background swatch (left image) with Color Picker(right).
Color Panel in Adobe Photoshop
Foreground/Background swatch (left image) with Color Picker(right)

Working With Color Panel

To open color panel, go to Window menu and then select Color. Similar to color picker, we can choose saturation, brightness and hue. But there are a variety of different ways that we can view the color panel as shown in below image.

Various View in Color Panel
Various View in Color Panel

Working With Color Swatches

  • If I select a color and I want to add it to my swatches, click on the plus icon as shown in below image.
  • If we want to delete a color from my swatches, select the desired swatch and then click on the trash icon in order to delete it.
  • To order to organize my swatch presets, we can click on the folder icon. Save the folder with a name and then we can drag and drop the color swatches into the folder. We can also drag and drop in order to reorder them.
  • If I want to show my swatches in a different view, click on fly-out menu (top right of Swatches panel). And then select the desired view.

To select a color from my image, tap the I key to access the eyedropper. Then click in the image area to sample a color, and that becomes my foreground color swatch.

Color Panel (left) and Swatches Panel (right) in Photoshop
Color Panel (left) and Swatches Panel (right) in Photoshop