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I have a PNG with some transparency. enter image description here

In PhotoPaint I have a tool "transparency brush" where I simply choose 100% opacity and the transparency is removed.

enter image description here

In Photoshop the eraser tool only gives me more transparency on this already transparent zone.

I know I can duplicate the layer a dozen times to remove the transparency, but I am wondering if such a tool exists on Photoshop.


Edited some time later. My own answer provides a workaround using the original transparency as a mask.

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    You can crate a layer mask instead. This will allow you to paint in more transparency, or remove it. – Kurtis Beavers Aug 28 '17 at 22:33
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    Many of Adobe Corp. software applications have idiosyncrasies and anomalies because they are products from different sources. MacroMedia and others produced the basic programs that Adobe tried to harmonize over the years to act more like each other. – Stan Aug 29 '17 at 5:34
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The short answer is not really.

The only way that I know of to retrieve pixels that are transparent is to duplicate the layer and merge it again and again.

  1. Select the layer in the layer panel
  2. Hit CMD/CTRL+J - to duplicate the layer
  3. Hit CMD/CTRL+E - to merge the layer down
  4. Repeat step 2 & 3 until there's no more transparency

Then you can make a layer mask and paint the transparency just like you like it. Here's a great answer on how to work with layer masks

  • If the changes are non-destructive, then you could go back and forth between transparency and opacity as much as you wish. No? – Stan Aug 29 '17 at 5:28
  • Well, in reality already knew that duplicating the layer a dozen times do the trick. I'll make the answer as accepted. You guys confirmed what I thought. There is no such tool. :o) – Rafael Sep 1 '17 at 2:07
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I found a really easy way to do this.

  1. On the Channels panel click on the little menu and choose Split Channels.

enter image description here

You will get now four different windows: R,G, B and A.

  1. Now click again the menu and chose Combine Channels.

  2. Choose RGB as the combination mode.

  3. Confirm that each channel is in the right position.

enter image description here

You now have a "transparency free" RGB file with an additional file with the original transparency to be used as a layer mask.

enter image description here

This layer mask can be used to paint on and work as my original question was asking.


To add the mask.

  • Select the grayscale image (Ctrl+A) and copy it to the clipboard.

  • On the color image on the layer's dialog box, click the "Add Mask"

  • (Alt+Click) on the mask, and paste the Clipboard.

  • Nice trick! ---- – Scott Apr 19 '18 at 0:28
  • Yeap. A lot of hidden things in tiny menus. – Rafael Apr 19 '18 at 0:32
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No, but there are layer masks, which is what you will need to use for non-destructive deleting.

In Photoshop, add a layer mask to the layer you wish to erase. In the layers panel click on the layer mask to select it. Choose the Paint Brush tool, Press D to choose the default black and white foreground and background colours. Paint on the image in Black to add transparency, paint on the image in white to return to opaque. You can switch between black and white foreground colours by hitting the X key. If you change the brush opacity to less than 100% you can reduce the amount of black or white you apply to the mask, with each stroke.

Example screen capture

  • Thanks, Billy Kerr, I do know how to use the layers mask, it was more an existential problem if there was such a tool that I have not known about. :o) – Rafael Sep 1 '17 at 2:08

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