You know how you can select individual colours? And you can go to the select menu, and click select fill?

I need to do that but for a colour range.

Say for instance, you trace a photograph and expand it, and you want to remove a red stamp from the image (the expanded trace). You can select a red bit, and select, select fill, delete, or paint transparent, or set opacity to 0%, but you're still left with bits and pieces of different shades of pinks and reds.

You can sometimes just reduce the complexity of the trace so there's fewer colours or whatever, but that distorts the whole image.

I've tried just selecting a range of colours simultaneously by holding shift and clicking objects with the selection (U) tool. but it didn't work that way.

2 Answers 2


Use the Magic Wand Tool like in Photoshop and click on ungrouped shapes.

Magic Wand tool: Lets you select objects of the same color, stroke weight, stroke color, opacity, or blending mode by clicking the object.

  • Double click the Magic Wand Tool to change the options
    • Activate only Fill Color
    • Try with different Tolerance

enter image description here

  • Thanks. I've never actually used Photoshop, but I'll give it a go.
    – voices
    Commented Sep 21, 2018 at 16:16
  • wait is there a magic wand now in Illustrator? hmm time to upgrade from CS6...
    – Luciano
    Commented Sep 21, 2018 at 16:27
  • @Luciano - yes! A surprise to me too, and I use CC,but never even noticed it before. You learn something new every day!
    – Billy Kerr
    Commented Sep 21, 2018 at 18:14

In case the magic wand tolerance simply isn't working for you, you can do this how it was done before that tool/panel was added....

What you can do....

  • Using the Direct Selection Tool (white arrow), select something filled with the color you want to keep and create a swatch of that color.

  • Still with the Direct Selection Tool, select a color you want to remove.

  • Choose Select > Same > Fill & Stroke from the menu.

  • Use the swatch you created and change the fill/stroke to that same color.

  • Repeat for every color you want to remove.

When you have changed all the unwanted colors to your desired color, you can combine the art...

  • Select all
  • Click the Merge button on the Pathfinder Panel.

This will combine all areas of the same fill.

Be aware, if you have "hollow" objects - object which have no fill and no stroke -- you will need to remove those before using the Merge command. The easiest way to do that is to draw a rectangle with no fill and no stroke and then choose Select > Same > Fill & stroke from the menu and hit the Delete key.

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