Content Aware Fill – Control the Source in Photoshop CC

Adobe Photoshop

When removing unwanted objects in an image, selecting the area to be removed and then choosing  Edit > Fill with the Contents set to Content Aware, can magically fill in areas using surrounding information. However, in some images, Photoshop may select and fill with areas that you wish it wouldn’t. In order to tell Photoshop to ignore certain areas of an image, add a layer mask and paint in the mask to hide the areas that you don’t want Photoshop to use as a fill source (in other words, if you can’t see the information, then neither can the Content Aware Fill technology). When finished, discard the layer mask without applying.

Note: make sure to run the Content Aware Fill on the Layer, not the Layer Mask.

Adobe Photoshop

Posted on 04-11-2017


  • By Einar Erlendsson - 10:25 AM on April 11, 2017  

    Happy Easter holiday girl. Hope you have a tremendously good time.

    Warm regards from Iceland.

  • By Kate Jones - 12:38 PM on April 11, 2017  

    Thanks for that tip, most helpful, will be sure to remember it


    Kate Jones

  • By Luke Edmonson - 12:57 PM on April 11, 2017  

    Great tip Julieanne! You made it simple and easy to follow – yet it’s a powerful tip!

    Feels like we’re playing peek a boo with Photoshop. Now you see me! Now you can’t!

  • By Witta Priester - 12:59 PM on April 11, 2017  

    ANOTHER great tip! Thanks Julieanne.

  • By Dean Alan - 6:22 PM on April 11, 2017  

    Great suggestion!

    The process of Edit > Fill then select Content Aware harder to access than other commonly used tools. Having to navigate to Edit > Fill and Content Aware each time is time consuming when you use it repeatedly. Is there a way to add it to a quick button type action?

  • By Bill Wiley - 5:46 AM on April 12, 2017  

    Julieanne, do you have a utube video to show this process? Your blog tip above seems a little vague to me, as I am still learning more and more about PS CC.

    Thank you

  • By Mirela - 9:54 AM on April 12, 2017  

    Great tip! Working on using it!

  • By Rima - 6:43 AM on April 18, 2017  

    I’m with Bill Wiley’s request above. I’d love to see video on this.

    Just to clarify for me – because this seems like an easy and powerful assist – after you create a layer mask and hide/paint over areas you don’t want referenced, you go BACK to the background layer, or your background copy layer, and perform content aware fill? It seems that if the mask is above the background layer the fill is referencing the whole image??? Help please. I’m confused. Newbie here.

    Grateful for anyone who wants to chime in here.

    Thanks so much Julieanne,


  • By Drift - 9:46 AM on April 18, 2017  

    Wow, that’s good to know.