Improved Content-Aware Fill in Photoshop 2020

Improved Content-Aware Fill in Photoshop 2020

Content-Aware Fill is a semi-automated pixel replacement tool that works excellent with little of your help. One of my favorite new features in Photoshop 2020 (version 21) is an improvement in Content-Aware Fill workspace. It just makes me happy because it is easier to use and an overall faster and more pleasant experience with excellent results.

In this tutorial I want to present to you improved Edit > Content-Aware Fill command and how to use it to increase speed and efficiency when replacing pixels in Photoshop using this wonderful and efficient pixel replacement function.

What is Content-Aware Fill and why to use it

Content-Aware Fill command from the Edit menu is a semi-automated command which is usually sed to replace pixels on a selected area of the image by controlling as needed from which area you want Photoshop to sample pixels for replacement. This command is useful when you want to fill transparent areas or when you want to remove something from your photo.

Here is how pixel replacement using Content-Aware Fill works:

  • The first step is to select the area which needs pixel fill/replacement like unwanted object in your photo.
  • The second step is to open the CAF workspace from Edit > Content-Aware Fill.
  • The third step is to accept Photoshop's suggestion from where to sample pixels for fill/replacement or to do manual adjustment/selection of that area.
  • After adjusting settings just seat and watch while Photoshop is replacing and seamlessly blending pixels.
  • If you are satisfied click on the OK button and Photoshop will place "patch" on a layer of your choice from Output To drop-down list. It can be a current layer, separate layer what is a non-destructive option or on duplicated original layer what is vise option.
Content-Aware Fill in Photoshop
Animation is showing example of using Content-Aware Fill to remove unwanted object.


I must mention that Content-Aware Fill or CAF command is my favorite semi-automated command of all the time. I am using this command on a daily basis. The old or previous version was excellent and served me well but this new and improved is even better and increases the time which will save us. If you are not using it then you are missing, try it immediately.

What is new and exciting with Content-Aware Fill workspace

I am so excited because CAF speed and efficiency (and mine) is improved. It is so pleasant and useful to watch Photoshop detecting perfectly area to sample in seconds and doing the replacement job perfectly.

I am also more satisfied with new options and their order although my choice would be to place Rectangular at the last place. I am talking about buttons in the Sampling Area Options section which allows you to choose the option which is used to detect from where to use pixels for replacement. Available options are:

  • Auto is a fully automated option that allows you for customization. Photoshop or algorithm will try to find the best part of the image for replacement.
  • Rectangular was a previous only available option which will create a rectangular sampling area around the initial selection. It allows you to customize the sampling area.
  • Custom is a manual option that will clear or reset any previous sampling area and allow you to paint or lasso area to sample for replacement.
Content-Aware Fill Sampling Area options
Highlighted in red are new buttons in Content-Aware Fill panel.


Another cool thing, in my opinion, is the sticky sampling option. If you choose Custom, for example, it will remain the default until you change it manually.

Most of the time Auto option just work and you won't need any additional adjustments. Other times you will need to help a bit using Sampling Brush Tool or Lasso. do not forget Custom option which will allow you to set custom sampling area without Photoshop's guess help.
comparison new versus old option to automatically pick sample area
Comparison of Auto which is new option and Rectangular sample area which was the only available option in previous versions.

Product usd in this tutorial:
Photoshop 2020 (version 21.0.1)

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