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Photoshop Elements 4: The Missing Manual by Barbara Brundage

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Choosing the Color You Want

So far, the color corrections you've been reading about in this chapter have all done most of the color assigning for you. But a lot of the time, you want to be able to tell Elements what colors you want to work with—like when you're selecting the color for a background or Fill layer (Section 6.4), or when you want to paint on an image.

Although you can use any of the millions of colors your screen can display, Elements loads only two colors of your choosing at a time. You access these colors from the squares at the bottom of the Toolbox (see Figure 7-14). Adobe refers to the colors as your Foreground and Background colors.

Foreground and Background mean just what they sound like—use the Background color to fill in backgrounds, and use the Foreground color with the Elements tools, like the Brush or the Paint Bucket. You can use as many colors as you want, of course. You just have to change your settings in Foreground/Background to access these other colors.

The color-picking tools at the bottom of the Toolbox let you control the color you're using in a number of different ways:

The top square is your Foreground color, and the bottom is your Background color. You can also use keystrokes to reset the standard black and white colors or switch the colors. Pressing D resets your colors to Elements standard colors of black for the Foreground and white for the Background. Click the curved double-headed arrows or press X to swap the Foreground and Background values.

Figure 7-14. The top square is your Foreground color, and the bottom is your Background color. You can also use keystrokes to reset the standard black and white colors or switch the colors. Pressing D resets your colors to Elements standard colors of black for the Foreground and white ...

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