Using the Flood Fill Tool

Created as a Quick Guide in 2003 Copyright SuzShook
Made a "Version-Independent" Tutorial March 2009
Property of SuzShook

This tutorial is my own creation;
however, most of the techniques used in this tutorial, I have learned from others!
Therefore, if you recognize any contribution you have made, I thank you!
And I thank you as well for respecting this as my work by not posting it,
in whole or in part,
in any other location without written permission from me!

Individuals and PSP graphics groups are invited to share my tutorials with others with TEXT LINKS ONLY.
You can e-mail me to let me know you are adding one or more of my tutorials to your list if you like -
it's always fun to know who is doing them!

This tutorial was originally published as a Quick Guide in 2003. With the demise of the Quick Guide capability in PSP, this Quick Guide is being re-published as a mini-tutorial!

This tutorial will give you some tips for using the Flood Fill tool.

I make my tutorials as brief as possible, without the customary paths, details, and how-to's. For those veterans among you, this will be welcome! But for those less familiar with PSP, I included a "Glossary" that contains all the details omitted in the tutorial. If you need a little extra help, check the Glossary section. Just click on the button below - the Glossary will open in a new window.

PSP glossary button

This tutorial assumes you have a working knowledge of Paint Shop Pro at the intermediate level (or advanced beginner level with the Glossary). It was originally written in and for PSP Version 7, then revised for PSP 8, and now made "version-independent". Screen shots for this tutorial can come from any version of PSP - where there are significant differences from version to version, a green "Version Note" will be included, along with multiple screen shots if necessary.

Where a note/tip refers to a version of PSP and all higher versions, a + sign will be used to indicate this. For example, if a note/tip applies to PSP X and higher versions, I will use the convention "PSP X+".

If you try this tutorial, and find something is inaccurate for your version of PSP, please EMAIL ME to let me know so I can fix it!

Screen shots in this tutorial are resized - your work will be larger than this!

Supplies - For this tutorial, you will need the following:
  • Paint Shop Pro - any version. The latest version of PSP can be found at the Corel site HERE.

~     ~     ~     ~     ~     ~     ~     ~     ~     ~

Ok, now we're ready to begin! Grab your mouse and let's get started!

Remember to save often!

~     ~     ~     ~     ~     ~     ~     ~     ~     ~


Create a new image with the following settings:
  • 200x200 pixels
  • Transparent background

Choose the Selection tool selection tool (S). From the Selection Type drop-down list, choose the Circle shape. From the Mode drop-down list, choose Add, set Feather to 0, and make sure the Anti-alias checkbox is checked. Draw several small circles of different sizes. Because you have chosen the Add mode, you can add several of them without holding down the SHIFT key.

multiple circle seletions


Choose the Flood Fill tool flood fill tool (F). In the Materials palette, set the Foreground material to a red color - I used #FF0000.

The Match Mode of the Flood Fill tool determines which pixels will be filled. When you want to fill several selected areas at the same time, set the Match Mode on the Tool Options palette to "None" - it has no matching criteria and so fills all pixels. Set the Match Mode to "None" now, and click in one of the circles with the Flood Fill tool and see what happens - all circles should be filled:

flood fill with red


Change the Foreground material to blue - I used 0000FF.

When you have many areas selected, and you want to fill only one of those areas, set the Match Mode on the Tool Options palette to anything other than "None". All the Match Mode options except "None" operate on contiguous pixels, so the tool's action will be restricted to a single circle. Set the Match Mode to RGB Value now, and click in one of the circles with the Flood Fill tool and see what happens - I clicked in the upper left hand circle. Only that circle should be filled with the new color.

flood fill with blue


Here are a few additional tips:

  • With each of the options described above, the value entered into the Opacity field determines how opaque the fill will be - higher numbers make the fill more opaque, and lower values make the fill more transparent.

  • The Tolerance setting determines how much of the selected area will be filled, and while it has no relevance with a Match Mode of "None", it does influence the fill with other settings. Higher Tolerance allows more of an area to be filled, whereas a lower Tolerance setting constrains the fill to areas that are similar in color or exactly the same color as where you initially clicked.

Hope you have enjoyed this tutorial as much as I did creating it!

If you have any problems, comments, or questions, please do not hesitate to Email me.


Version Independent Tutorials ~ About Me ~ Home ~ Email

All graphics and content 2002-present by SuzShook