Imagine a transparent canvas with different layers, like this:

layers on transparent canvas

I want to fill the whole background with a color, so the result would be like:

objects with colored background

The workflow I use for this is:

  • add new layer
  • select all
  • fill with background-color
  • moving the layer to the very bottom

Is there a way to accomplish this faster/easier?


2 Answers 2


If you don't want an actual "Background" layer (as Photoshop defines the locked "Background layer"), but rather just a solid color filled layer below all other layers....

  • Command/Ctrl+Shift+N (new Layer)
  • Command/Ctrl+Delete or Option/Alt+Delete (fill with foreground/background color)
  • Command/Ctrl+Shift+[ (move layer to bottom of layer stack)

Can take as long as 1 second once you get accustomed to the shortcuts.

This could all be recorded in an action for batch processing. But if you aren't batching images, an action won't really be any faster for a single image here or there. Although you may prefer 1 shortcut press for an action, as opposed to 3 shortcuts.

  • Thanks, using the shortcuts is a good improvement of my workflow (didn't know that one existed for »move layer to bottom of layer stack«). So this might be the best solution.
    – BNetz
    Aug 22, 2022 at 9:34
  • 1
    @BNetz the other bracket ( ] ) will move to top.. don't use Shift and you can move layers up or down within the stack - the shift key is what makes it "to bottom/top". It will also honor groups... move to bottom/top of group first, then hit the shortcut again to break out of a group and move to bottom/top on the second hit. And Option/Alt [ or ] will highlight layers up or down. These are very handy shortcuts when I'm working.
    – Scott
    Aug 22, 2022 at 16:30

If you want to maintain the layer structure then try this:

  1. Choose a new background colour by clicking on the background colour square in the toolbar

  2. Add a new layer using the shortcut Shift+Ctrl+N, hit Enter to accept

  3. Do Layer > New > Background from Layer

That's just 3 steps, one less than yours.

For more speed, you could record steps 2 and 3 above as an Action. And set up a Function key to run the Action.

enter image description here

Then when you want to use it, all you'd need to do is select a new background colour, and hit the Ctrl+Function key to run the Action. That's just two steps!!!

For the ultimate speed, if you want to apply this to a whole bunch of images in one folder, you could run the Action using File > Automate > Batch - choose the Action you recorded, set the source folder and a destination folder, and OK to run it.

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