by ʇolɐǝz ǝɥʇ qoq

Submit your Photo
Hall of Fame

Please participate in Meta
and help us grow.

Photography Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for professional, enthusiast and amateur photographers. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I seem to have changed the default setting in photoshop somehow which means that the background is always white, instead of grey. I don't mean the background layer of the image, I mean the area of the screen surrounding the canvas.

My whole background is white and I can't tell where the edges are. ie. I don't know whether parts of my image are inside or outside of the canvas.

It comes back if I chose full screen mode with the menu bar.

share|improve this question
up vote 4 down vote accepted

If you have an image opened, you can right click the background canvas and change the color that way. The default options in Photoshop CS5 are Black and Gray, but you can also define a custom color if you'd like.

To fix this through the menus, go to the Interface section in the Photoshop preferences. There are separate background canvas settings for standard, full-screen, and full-screen-with-menu interface modes.

In your case, you've inadvertently modified the standard setting, but full-screen is still the default gray color. That is why it's gray when you when you switch to full-screen mode.

share|improve this answer
That's the one, thanks. The interface preferences was what I was after. – matt burns Feb 24 '12 at 17:53

Pick a color with the paint bucket selected, and shift-click the canvas area.

If you want the default grey, select R: 204 G: 204 B: 204 from your color pallet.

share|improve this answer
If you left-click using the paint bucket in the canvas area, you should get a context menu that allows you to select the default grey (as well as black or a custom colour). – user2719 Feb 24 '12 at 14:19

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.