Back Home Table of Contents


The Color menu contains commands for selecting the colors used by tools for drawing and the color structures of the image.

Foreground Color

Keyboard Shortcut: None

Allows you to select the foreground color. This is the color used by most tools when drawing.

Background/Fill Color

Keyboard Shortcut: None

Allows you to select the background color. This is used by tools as a secondary color – for example, the shape tools use it to fill the interior of a shape.

You can also utilize the background color as a general secondary color by using the right mouse button with any drawing tool; this allows you to quickly switch between two colors of your choice.

Transparent Background Color

Keyboard Shortcut: None

Allows you to select the color used for displaying transparent regions of the image.

When editing an image that contains transparency, the transparent regions are normally rendered as having a gray checkered background. This may not accurately represent the transparency in real-world use. You may select any color of your choice to display as the transparent background instead.

To clear the transparent background color, simply select a color with any level of transparency in the Color Picker.

Swatch Palette

Keyboard Shortcut: None

Allows you to select the set of colors used in the palette on the sidebar.

Color Cycling

Keyboard Shortcut: None

Allows you to set an automatic color cycling mode, which automatically goes through the colors in the swatch palette as you draw. You can choose one of three options:

No Cycling (Pick)

Uses the manually chosen color as the foreground color.

Sequential (Gradient)

Uses the colors in the palette in sequence, starting from the first color. You can customize the behavior when the end of the palette is reached by choosing one of the repeat modes from the dropdown on the sidebar – None will simply keep using the last color in the palette, Linear will start over from the beginning of the palette, and Wave will go backwards until it reaches the first color.


Chooses colors from the palette at random.

Color Mode

Keyboard Shortcut: None

Specifies the color editing mode in the image. The following options are available:

ARGB Color

Allows the use of any color in the image, including semitransparency.

RGB Color

Allows the use of any opaque color in the image.


Restricts the usable colors to those found in the image's indexed palette. When switching to this mode from a true-color mode, a palette of 256 colors will be generated.


Restricts the usable colors to shades of gray only.


Restricts the usable colors to only black and white.

By Feature

Chooses the optimal mode based on features you request, such as transparency and size.

Indexed Palette

Keyboard Shortcut: None

Allows you to view and edit the image's internal palette. This only applies to images being edited in Indexed mode. This has absolutely no relation to the color swatch palette on the sidebar.

Palette from Image

Keyboard Shortcut: None

Generates a swatch palette based on the unique colors in the image. This does not affect the indexed palette (or lack thereof).

Count Colors

Keyboard Shortcut: None

Counts the number of unique colors currently in the image, regardless of color mode.

Invert Colors

Keyboard Shortcut: None

Inverts the colors in the image using basic RGB inversion – white becomes black, red becomes cyan, green becomes magenta, and blue becomes yellow.

More sophisticated inversion methods are available in the Filter menu.

Pick Channels

Keyboard Shortcut: None

Allows you to discard channels in the image or selection. The following channels are available:

Red, Green, Blue

These are the basic color channels used by the RGB color system.


This channel specifies the transparency of the image. Removing it will make the entire image opaque.


Applicable to the selection only, this specifies a mask for nonrectangular selections, such as those made using the Freeform Select tool or by rotating a rectangular selection. Removing it will revert the selection to rectangular mode, but note that there are no guarantees as to the usability of image data outside of the mask.

Swap Alpha and Mask

Keyboard Shortcut: None

Swaps the Alpha and Mask channels of the selection. This allows you to intentionally create semitransparent regions of the mask for effects such as soft edges using normal alpha-channel filters.

Make Opaque

Keyboard Shortcut: None

Composites the image over the current background color, removing any transparent regions in the process. (This is different from simply removing the alpha channel using the Pick Channels dialog.)

Color Matrix

Keyboard Shortcut: None

Allows you to apply a 5x5 matrix transformation to the color data in your image. You may choose from predefined matrices or create your own. A reference for color matrices is outside the scope of this document.


Keyboard Shortcut: None

See also: