The Flood Fill tool is a very versitile tool. With it you can fill a selection with a solid color or a gradient or you can flood fill with a preset pattern. With Version 6, you can also now set a pattern texture for your flood fill.

The first control panel you encounter for the Flood Fill tool allows you to choose your Fill Style, texture, modes, opacity, tolerance and sample merged. All the choices on this panel excelpt for the Fill Style are covered in my Paint Tool Basics tutorial.

Fill Styles

Solid: When you choose Solid, you will flood fill with the foreground color if you click with the left mouse button or the background color if you click with the right mouse button.

Pattern: When you choose Pattern, you need to have your pattern open on the PSP desktop. You then need to click on the second tab of the Control Panel and choose a Pattern from the drop down list.

Gradients: Your Gradient choices are Linear, Rectangular, Sunburst and Radial. After your choose your Gradient Type, click on the second tab button.

Paint Shop Pro 6 comes loaded with numerous preset gradients from a simple foreground to background to very complex gradients of numerous colors. You choose your gradient from the "Gradient:" drop down list. You also set your angle and repeats from this Control Panel. The number of repeats can create some very interesting and complex patterns. The following demonstrates all the gradient styles set to 3 repeats.

Gradient Editor

Once you have selected your Gradient, you can then edit that gradient by pressing the "Edit" button. You will then be presented with the Gradient Editor.

New: When you click the New button you will be asked to name the gradient and then you will be presented with a new blank gradient.

Copy: When you click the Copy button, you will be asked for a name for the copy you will be creating. If you want to change the settings to a preset gradient ALWAYS make a copy of it first. If you change the settings on a gradient and hit the OK button, that preset is permanently changed and you will not be able to bring back the original preset (unless you have made a backup of all your gradient presets).

Rename: When you click the Rename button you will be asked for the new name for the gradient.

Delete: When you click the Delete button, you will delete the currently selected preset. The delete is instantaneous and cannot be un-done, so make sure you have the correct preset highlighted before you hit the Delete button.

Import: When you click the Import button, you will be asked to find the "*.grd" file you want to import. This feature gives PSP users the ability to share presets.

Export: When you click the Export button, you will be asked to name the gradient you wish to export. The Export feature is rather useless since the Copy feature does the same thing. Both save your preset to the Gradients folder with a ".grd" extension.

To teach you how to use the Gradient Editor, I am including a tutorial for creating a multi color gradient.

Multi-Colored Gradient

  1. Click on the New button and give your gradient a name.
  2. You will notice that the Fore and Back buttons on the Gradient Editor represent your currently set foreground and background colors. This is a handy feature for creating a simple Foreground to Background gradient. For the purposes of this tutorial, we are skipping these buttons.
  3. The handles below the Gradient representation are called Thumbs. Add three new thumbs to the gradient by clicking below the Gradient box. Drag the new thumbs to 25%, 50% and 75%. Click on the left Thumb to activate it. Click on the Custom box.
  4. Hover the cursor over the box to the right of the Custom box and it will turn into they Eyedropper tool. Click on the box to bring up the Color Picker. Choose your first color (I chose Red).
  5. Click on the Thumb at 25% to activate it. Choose a color for this thumb as per the above instructions. Repeat for the remaining thumbs.
  6. OK, now you have a multi color gradient. You can adjust the flow of the gradient by moving the Thumbs or by dragging the diamond shaped objects above the gradient (midpoints).
  7. You can adjust the opacity of the gradient by entering a number other than 100 in the Opacity box. The Opacity works like a mask where black will be transparent and white will be the full color. Experiment with the various opacity settings. You will see the results of your experiment in the "Result" box.

Here's the result of my multi color gradient with opacity set to 50%:

Fun with the Flood Fill Tool

Instant Glow Tubes

  1. Create a new graphic 200x50.
  2. Set your background to a very dark version of a particular color and the foreground to a very light version of the same color.
  3. Set your gradient to the Foreground-Background preset.
  4. Set the angle to 180 degrees.
  5. Set the repeats to 1.
  6. Flood fill your graphic.
  7. This glow tube can be resized without much of a loss of resolution. If you do notice some "banding" if you resize the graphic larger, use Image>Blur>Soften to take the banding out.

To create "glowing text", place your text as a "selection" and flood fill the selection with your glow tube gradient.

Pattern Text

The following image was created by flood filling text with a wood pattern then applying a Blade Pro bevel preset.

  1. Open the pattern you wish to use for your fill (I used a wood pattern).
  2. Set the Flood Fill tool to Pattern and then click on the second tab.
  3. Choose your pattern from the drop down list.
  4. Flood fill with the pattern.
  5. Apply effects if desired.


  1. Create a new graphic 100x100.
  2. Set the Flood Fill tool to Sunburst Gradient.
  3. Set your background color to the color you want your sphere to be (works best with darker brighter colors) and your foreground color to white.
  4. Choose Foreground-Background as your gradient preset.
  5. Set Repeats to 0, Horizontal to 35 and Vertical to 35.
  6. Set the Selection tool to circle with Antialias checked.
  7. Starting at 50,50 draw a circle to fill the graphic.
  8. Flood fill.