Change the Color of Photoshop Shapes Tutorial

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By Andrew Buckle, Updated : 2021

How to change the color of Photoshop custom shapes (rectangles, ellipses etc) in Photoshop (such as color / gradient etc).

** Youtube video tutorial on how to change the color of shapes in Photoshop in a variety ways - quick and easy update of the fill / stroke color **

1. Select shapes tools

Select one of the shapes tools (custom, ellipse etc) and go to the top left of Photoshop and select the fill or stroke panel. You can then select whether the fill and stroke are gradients or patterns or a solid color or set the fill to nothing and just have a stroke setting.

custom shapes and fill and stroke setting change the color in Photoshop

2. Go to the properties panel

Change the fill or stroke via the appearance section of the properties panel found in the window menu. This panel does not need the shapes tool to be selected. All the same options for the gradient, solid color and patterns and nil are available for the fill and stroke color of the selected design.

custom shapes and properties settings in Photoshop for the fill color and stroke color

3. Layers

You can also change the fill color via the layers panel in Photoshop. Go to the shape layer in the layers panel (window menu) and double click the entry and the panel should appear enabling you to modify the color. The panel varies depending on the color option currently used. You cannot change a solid color to gradient etc.

layers panel for the fill color of the layer entry - double click

4. Fill content

Go to the layer menu and layer content options and you can then change the gradient, solid color etc. You cannot change the type of option

5. Swatches panel

With the shape selected, go to the swatches panel and click a gradient or solid color.

6. Gradients panel

To fill the shape with a gradient, go to the window menu and gradients and select a gradient and that will be used as the new fill. If you go to the right side menu for the gradients panel, you can set the default type used such as linear or radial or conical etc.

7. Patterns panel

Display the patterns panel via the window menu. Select the shape and click a pattern and that will then be used as the fill for the vector design.