I have recently opened some images and in the layers palette, instead of saying "background" it says "Index".

I have been unable to figure out why it says "index" and cannot do anything to the image because every tool is greyed out. What's up? I must be doing something wrong.


2 Answers 2


Select Image > Mode > RGB color

  • Thank you! Just curious - why does this happen in the first place? I am three weeks into learning the program, all relevant info is great. Thank you!
    – user27516
    Commented Jul 20, 2014 at 23:50
  • This does not just happen. Someone indexed the image, possibly to reduce file size or use a specific color set.
    – KMSTR
    Commented Jul 23, 2014 at 6:31
  • Although I don't know why, Photoshop shows .bmp files as 'indexed'. This may happen when you directly drag the image from your browser in to PS, and PS makes a .bmp file out of it (on Windows at least). The easiest thing to do is to first download the file, or just copy the indexed layer and paste it into a new file so that it's editable.
    – paddotk
    Commented Apr 20, 2016 at 11:43
  • You know they you are commenting on an accepted answer? There is no reason for speculation. What information are you trying to add?
    – KMSTR
    Commented Apr 20, 2016 at 11:49
  • The solution was provided indeed, but I think this is some useful additional information that explains it a little bit more.
    – paddotk
    Commented Apr 20, 2016 at 12:16

open the index with windows paint and save it as jpg. Then , you can edit it on photoshop as background and process that. I hope that this will help you!

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