How to Recolor Using the Color Replacement Tool

Word Art is one of the wonderful elements designers sometimes include in their kits and I love it when they do.  However, sometimes I want to use different colors that work better with my layout.  There are several ways to recolor elements.  In this lesson, we’ll recolor some word art using the Color Replacement Tool.

Color Replacement Tool

The Color Replacement Tool (B) is nested with the Brushes in the Toolbox.  The icon which is displayed in the Toolbox may be the Brush Tool, Impressionist Brush Tool, or Color Replacement Tool depending on which brush was used last.  Tool options are displayed across the bottom of the workspace.

The Color Replacement Tool replaces the original color with the foreground color you have selected.  It preserves the textures, shadows, highlights, distressing, and styles that the designer applied.  The word art I’m using is from Kimeric Kreations collection, Be Yourself.

I’ve already selected the foreground color.  Then with the Color Replacement Tool selected we’ll use a hard, round brush with the following settings:  Tolerance> 100%;  Mode> Color; Limits> Contiguous; Sampling> Once; Anti-aliasing checked.  We’ll talk about the Size below.



Click and Drag Method (not recommended)

The click and drag method works by placing the brush cross hair over the color you want to replace then clicking and dragging.  This method calls for more precision and patience than I can muster because if you stray onto another area accidentally it will be recolored too!  Not good.  I use this method for touch-ups if needed.  The photo below shows what happens if the brush strays from the gray area into the white.



Selection Tool Method

I use a Selection Tool to select the area first.  I use the Magic Wand or Quick Selection Tool (or both) to select the area I want to recolor first.  If the area isn’t distressed the Magic Wand is fine but if it’s distressed the Quick Selection Tool easily selects the dotted areas in the middle.

With the gray area already selected a larger brush can be used to quickly paint over the gray.



If there are touch ups to do use the Quick Selection Tool and a small brush to get into these tight areas.  In Tool Options select New Selection, Add to Selection or Subtract from Selection to tweak those areas.




Quickly Paint Over Selected Area

Quickly paint over the pre-selected area with a large brush.






If you find an oopsie, it’s easy to correct.




Zoom and Tweak

Zoom in and simply use the Color Picker to choose the white area and make that your foreground color.  Use Magic Wand to select the discolored area then paint over it like before.




Quick and Easy Recolor

Now you have quickly and easily recolored the word art to match your layout.




lightbulb tip


Bonus Tip:  If the Word Art is simple, that is one color without a stroke, you can easily select it by holding the Ctrl key and clicking the thumbnail.  This is by far the easiest way to make a selection!