I recently had a problem with Photoshop I haven't had before. When I draw with the Pencil Tool on, or next to, an existing pixel, it makes the color the background color. This started yesterday.

Today, when I started working, the same problem still occurs, and now my pixels are all semi-transparent. I don't recall clicking any buttons that I don't usually, and haven't done anything new with the software.


I added a Youtube link to my problem (its awful quality, my computer is trash) but you can see that my pixels are semi-transparent, where you can see the color and the background squares. You can also see how when I draw over lines, the cyan background color starts drawing instead of the reddish color thats selected as the foreground color.

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    Hi David, based upon the information you've provided it's nearly impossible to answer you. Most likely it all comes down to some setting somewhere... fill, stroke... path options... but there's no way for anyone to tell which setting may be incorrect for your needs.
    – Scott
    Jun 21, 2017 at 15:45
  • I agree with @Metis - please edit to include more detail and maybe a screenshot or two
    – Ryan
    Jun 21, 2017 at 15:48
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    Your opacity is set at 90% for the Pencil tool.. look at the control bar... Also note the Pen Tool and the Pencil Tool are not the same :) This is completely different than what I thought the original question was asking. :)
    – Scott
    Jun 21, 2017 at 16:57
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    Not a problem at all. Everyone starts somewhere :) Without the video everyone would have been really lost trying to help you :)
    – Scott
    Jun 21, 2017 at 17:22
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    Tapping the X key will swap colors. Just as tapping a number key will change the opacity. You may be inadvertently hitting keys.
    – Scott
    Jun 22, 2017 at 0:03

1 Answer 1


Turn off Auto-Erase on the top of your screen. The feature is really weird in its implementation and I've yet to find a purpose for it (to be fair I also almost always use Brush not Pencil).

It basically tries to detect if you're on a previously drawn line and if so it automatically draws with the background color instead of the foreground color.


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