I have a weird issue. I made a selection using various methods. However, no matter what I do, that selection has some kind of opacity. Even if I right click -> fill and select black, it simply will not fill it out with #000000 and 100% opacity.

Here's what I have tried:

  1. Take the selection on top of a 100% black background, then Ctrl+C and paste it somewhere
  2. Paste ^ into a new layer, set the color overlay to #000000 and 100% opacity
  3. Right click -> Fill 100% black

Here's what it looks like:

enter image description here

As you can see, it's clearly not 100% black. More like 75% black.

How can I fix this? It's really annoying.

  • when you make that selection, are you sure feather is 0? maybe that's the reason. Apr 11, 2019 at 4:19
  • Not to make things more confusing, but If the original fill on the layer has 50% opacity and you set a layer style color overlay with 100% opacity, it's still going to be maxed at 50% opacity.
    – Joonas
    Apr 11, 2019 at 7:29

2 Answers 2


A selection has no opacity, the result you get when filling with 100% black is the smoothing or antialiasing the selection brings depending on where you have made it.

Soft selection

If this is the selection, you can do the following to make the borders harder:

  • With the selection active, make a Color Fill Layer. You will get a layer with the "soft area" filled.
  • Holding Alt click the Mask Thumbnail of this Color Fill Layer to see its content
  • Press Cmd + L on Mac or Ctrl + L on Win to open the Levels Window
  • Decrease the shadows moving the shadows slider to the right and increase the lights moving the light slider to the left to remove the midtones until getting the wished selection area.
  • Holding Cmd Mac or Ctrl Win, click the Mask Thumbnail to load the new selection
  • Keeping the selection, delete this Fill Layer
  • Create a New Layer and fill


The greater or lesser amount of opacity is obtained by modifying the Levels sliders. To make the black more intense you must remove the "dark midtones" in the mask, moving the light slider to the extreme left.

enter image description here

  • Hmm this doesn't really seem to work as I want it. I want my selection to be completely black. Every single pixel that was selected should be black. I don't want any edges or blurred lines. No shadow. No small border that goes from black to less black and finally to transparent. Apr 8, 2019 at 18:17
  • Answer updated....
    – user120647
    Apr 8, 2019 at 18:21
  • 1
    Goooootcha. This makes a lot of sense now. Much, much better and much more clear than before: i.imgur.com/rnmmtDV.png Apr 8, 2019 at 18:35

See this image (one layer, one partially transparent shape, layer has opacity=100%)

enter image description here

If you Ctrl+Click the layer icon in the layers panel you get partial selection.

If you paint or fill solid 100% opaque color to this selection, you will get as transparent result as your shape was. If the opacity was under 50%, you will get no marquee, but the selection still is there.

You get solid selection for example with magic wand. Select the emptiness around the shape and invert the selection. Paint 100% opaque black to that selection in a new layer, you will get 100% opaque black fill.

  • Hmm this doesn't really answer my question. If I want to make my selection completely black, I would have to use the paint bucket and fill it probably 5-6 times. Then it's completely black. However, the area is now outside of my selection and also it's not completely black. It has some kind of "shadow" to it. Like so: i.imgur.com/kvFTNWD.png Apr 8, 2019 at 18:21

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