I would like to change the colour of the following image (from grey) to red, does anyone know if it is possible to do this with Mac Preview? I couldn't find out how to do it.

Otherwise, is it possible to do this with an online editor like https://pixlr.com/?

image of grey box

2 Answers 2


Because the image essentially has no colour [black/white/grey are not considered 'colours' for this] then Preview cannot do anything useful with it.

You can make it swing the tint between greenish & blueish, you can even then force a white balance change to make it bright blue – but you can't squeeze a red out of it this way.

enter image description here

pixlr.com, on the other hand, seems to have a much more Photoshop-type editing suite.

From this you can use the Fill tool [paint bucket] to block replace colour. Note that because the masked image is actually mainly grey but has a bit of white on the edges, you do this by first painting it all white, then when you paint it red it will use the entire shape…

enter image description here

enter image description here

Note the background is actually transparent, so you will see though it to whatever colour is underneath [so long as you keep it as a png & not transcode to jpg].

  • 1
    The key to squeezing more enhancements out of Preview's image-manipulation options is to crank them up to the max, then save the file and re-open it. At that point, the sliders for the image-manipulation options re-center to zero, allowing you to crank on them more. This is, essentially, the same process outlined in Elements in Space's recent answer.
    – Cody Gray
    May 19 at 4:36
  • @CodyGray - I'd actually tried something along those lines, working from a re-saved file, but couldn't get there :\
    – Tetsujin
    May 19 at 16:21

Yes, you can do this with just Preview.

The following method is a bit hacky, but reasonably straightforward:

  1. Open the file with Preview and bring up the Adjust Colour tool
  • adjust the temperature to full hot
  • adjust the tint to full magenta
  • adjust the sepia to full sepia
  • save and close the file
    image after first step
  1. Re-open the file
  • adjust the exposure to full exposure
  • adjust the saturation to full saturation
  • save
    image after second step


NB: saving and closing the file is crucial, because it effectively “bakes-in” the colour changes; when you open the file the second time, the temperature, tint, and sepia sliders have all been reset, and the exposure and saturation sliders now apply to the saved colours (rather than to the original grey).

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