Fill Commands and Shortcuts

In addition to using the Paint Bucket tool for applying fills to selected or unselected areas, you can also use the Fill dialog to apply solid colours and patterns. There are keyboard shortcuts associated with the Fill dialog that you will find invaluable. The Fill dialog has a couple of distinct advantages over the Paint Bucket tool.

Fill Dialog

The Fill dialog is opened by going to Edit > Fill.

Fill dialog

Use Pop-up Menu (Contents of Fill)

The Use pop-up menu provides several options for a fill:

Except for the History option, the rest of these are self-explanatory. We'll wait until we discuss the History brush before exploring that option. When Pattern is selected, you can access the pattern picker to select and manage pattern presets.

No Tolerance

Unlike the Paint Bucket tool, there is no Tolerance setting in the Fill dialog. Therefore, if complete coverage is what you're looking for, this option has the advantage.


This works the same here as it did as a painting tool option.

Preserve Transparency

Preserve Transparency results Here's where the Fill dialog gets interesting. When this option is enabled, the fill will be applied only to the area containing pixels and it will ignore the transparent areas of the layer or selection. Furthermore, if there are semi-transparent areas eligible to be filled, the new fill will replace the old fill at the same levels of semi-transparency.

In the example shown here, a selection was made on a transparent layer with a 5 px. feather radius and then filled with black. The foreground colour was changed to red and a foreground fill was applied using the Fill dialog with Preserve Transparency enabled. There isn't a trace left of the original black fill.

Fill Shortcuts

You will frequently want to fill selections and layers with solid colours and learning the fill shortcuts will make your work more efficient.

Fill Commands and Shortcuts Summary

Fill Commands and Shortcuts Keyboard Shortcuts:

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