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by Wendi Elizabeth Martha Scarth


Create A Fill Layer 
Photoshop Elements


This is a Photoshop Elements Tutorial

Create Either A Solid Colour, Pattern Or Gradient Fill Layer
Suitable for Adobe Photoshop Elements Editor 
Skill Level - Intermediate

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This tutorial demonstrates how to fill a Transparent Layer with either a Solid Colour, Pattern or Gradient of your choice. Creating a Fill Layer is an excellent way of blending a Transparent Image with its background, such as the Transparent Green Web Button, above.

Understanding Layers
Understanding Blending Modes
Fill A Transparent Layer With A Background From The Content Palette Apply Content Palette backgrounds

Undo Note
You can step backwards at any time by clicking the top menu’s Undo Tool.


First, open a Transparent Image onto Elements’ workspace. Ctrl/Cnd then N.

To centralise your canvas - snap it to the top menu’s orange horizontal line by dragging it towards it.

Now, from the top menu, choose Layer then choose New Fill Layer. From the subsequent drop-down list, select either Solid Colour, Gradient or Pattern.

For example, to blend my green navigation button with this web page’s background, I am going to create a Pattern Fill Layer, using the same Pattern I have used for this web page. This will seamlessly blend my navigation button with this page.

Click OK to the subsequent New Layer dialogue box. (The Name will be either, Gradient Fill, Colour Fill or Pattern Fill.

After clicking OK, a Pattern, (Solid Colour, or Gradient) Layer will be created - as illustrated below.

Gradient Fill Example

Solid Colour Fill Example

Now, left-click the Pattern Layer: and drag it beneath your Transparent Object’s Layer, as illustrated below.


This places the Pattern’s Layer “behind” your Transparent Graphic’s Layer’ - as illustrated below: so creating a perfect blend, if you are applying a Fill that matches your background.


To finish, from the top menu, choose Layer then choose Flatten Image.

Elements 11, 12, 13, 14 & 15 - Tool Options Palette positioned at the bottom of the workspace. Although the palettes have been redesigned the tools work in more or less the same way.

Congratulations, your work is ready to Crop down, and to save.

Fill A Transparent Layer With A Content Palette Background
Applying a Background from Elements’ Content Palette is a quick and easy way of applying instant backgrounds to Transparent objects. To use one of the Content Palette’s Backgrounds, first open a Transparent Object onto Elements’ workspace: and ensure you can see your Content Palette. To display the Content Palette, from the top menu, choose Window then click a tick before Content - as illustrated below.


Now, from the Content Palette, ensure By Type and Backgrounds are active, as illustrated below-left. (You select the aforementioned choices by clicking open their respective
drop-down lists, and clicking By Type and Backgrounds). 


From the subsequent Backgrounds Library, double-left-click to activate a Background of your choice - as illustrated below.

Double-left-clicking your Background choice immediately places a Background Layer below the active Transparent Image - as illustrated below. To scroll through different Background choices, (and to change your image’s Background), double-left-click different Backgrounds.


Scroll Through The Backgrounds Library Tip
There are many different Backgrounds to choose from; therefore, don’t forget to scroll down the entire backgrounds Library, and find a Background that suits your needs.

Scroll Through Library

When you have found a Background that works with your Transparent image, complete the change by clicking Apply.



Now you are familiar with these Background Layer techniques, (prior
to saving) you can have lots of fun filling your Transparent Image with either a Solid Colour, Pattern or Gradient of your choice.

Wendi E M Scarth. 
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