I'm playing around with the color adjustment layer capability in Photoshop (24.1.0). My image mode colour mode is set to RGB. But my options in the color adjustment menu are specified in CMYK.
Image mode set to RBG color 16Bit/Channel

Selective color params in Selective color layer are given in CMYK

This is surprising to me. Is this as it should be? Does it matter? Is there some setting that I need to (somehow) fix, in order to adjust in RGB? Adjusting in CMYK works ok for the image I'm using. I'm just trying to figure out why it is like that.


1 Answer 1


Just figured this out. Affecting CMYK specifications is quite fundamentally what selective color does. I assumed what 'selective color' would do would be a generic colour operation. And I was confused that it did an image mode translation without being asked.

But no. What it does is adjust process colours (i.e. print colours, i.e. specified in CMYK).
screenshot of help content showing that selective color affects process colours

Hurrah it all makes sense.

  • 1
    Hi. Sounds to me like you want to use the Hue/Saturation adjustment. That will allow you to do what you want, but with HSL sliders instead.
    – Billy Kerr
    Commented Jan 4, 2023 at 23:50

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