Swapping Colors in Photoshop

by C. Taylor

On second glance, that perfect photo may not appear so perfect after all if you're unsatisfied with its colors. Although Adobe Photoshop offers a wealth of image and color correction tools, you might wish to change one specific color or the color of a certain object. Photoshop's Replace Color tool allows you to select one or more colors and swap them for another. The new color is selected by adjusting the hue, saturation and lightness or choosing a new color from the color palette. If you need to restrict the selection to just one object's color, you can use Photoshop's Lasso tool to encircle the target area.

Open your photo in Adobe Photoshop.

Press "L" to select the Lasso tool and click-drag around the object that requires adjustment. If you prefer to keep the original image intact, right-click the selection and choose "Layer Via Copy." Doing so copies the selection to another layer, so any changes are applied to the selection copy.

Click "Image," "Adjustments" and then "Replace Color."

Click the "Add to Sample" button, which is depicted as an eyedropper with a plus sign. Click the colors you wish to change.

Drag the "Fuzziness" slider to the right to expand your color selection or to the left to reduce it. The preview window displays the currently selected areas.

Drag the Hue, Saturation and Lightness sliders to achieve your desired color. The photo automatically adjusts while you make your adjustments. Alternatively, click the "Result" color palette and select your preferred color.

Click "OK" to swap colors or "Cancel" to abandon your changes.

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