I am trying to set a solid ( non 4 colour ) black in Photoshop. I am able to do this successfully; however if for instance I create a shape or a piece of text using my 100%K black all is well until I go back in to check the fill colour and then into the colour picker ... and without touching anything in there the colour has changed back into a 4 colour black. I cant see any way to make it stay as 0 0 0 100. I have been using this video as a reference and I can see this is is definitely possible, but I can't see what I am doing wrong. Is there some setting I'm unaware of. I'm using CS6.

  • 1
    First of all, are you use CMYK or RGB color space in your document?
    – Vnovak
    Commented Jun 2, 2014 at 12:27
  • I think @Vnovak is right, and what your video doesn't show you — your document needs to be in CMYK. To validate this, in Photoshop for your document go to Image > Mode > CMYK Color Now select the piece of text and check you've got solid black (0,0,0,100).
    – jamesy
    Commented Jun 2, 2014 at 15:12
  • In addition. You can explore features of Channel Mixer. I really like how it works in CMYK mode for fine tuning.
    – Vnovak
    Commented Jun 2, 2014 at 15:15
  • 1
    @jamesy You're correct, but it would be more helpful all round if you'd say this in an answer so it can be voted up and accepted. :) Commented Jun 2, 2014 at 18:17
  • @AlanGilbertson thanks for the reply. I just thought Vnovak's answer was 99% there and so I'd just add a finishing pointer. I will add it as answer though.
    – jamesy
    Commented Jun 3, 2014 at 8:37

2 Answers 2


Your document needs to be in CMYK. To validate this in Photoshop for your document, go to Image > Mode > CMYK Color

Now select the piece of text and check you've got solid black (0,0,0,100) in the Select text color window, see image below:

Solid black CMYK 0,0,0,100


I had same exact problem and took me forever to figure it out. In the color picker as the other person showed here, create your 100% black color and save as a swatch. Then highlight your text or shape and then click the swatch (for text), or fill it for a shape. It should be correct when you check with eye-dropper now - BUT, if there's any transparency to your element and if there's color underneath, it obviously won't appear as 100% black with your picker (took me a few minutes to realize that).

  • Can you show some screenshot to make your advice more understandable?
    – Mensch
    Commented Oct 8, 2015 at 20:08

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