How To Use Eyedropper Tool In Illustrator | Eyedropper Tool In Illustrator, Secrets Explained!

Laura Coyle

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Eyedropper Tool In Illustrator, Secrets Explained!


Have you ever had this problem in Illustrator? Before when you’re trying to sample a color with the eyedropper tool clicking on an image and you get no color, nothing at all. I mean, I can click on this shape and sample its color, but I can’t choose a color from the photo well first. I’ll show you the quick fix, and then I’ll explain the reason behind it when you’re using the eyedropper tool in Illustrator to sample color from images. Hold the shift key as you click. So using the shift key with the eyedropper, I can just select swatches individually and then hold shift and use the eyedropper to sample the color and I’m just sort of going back and forth here using my command or ctrl shortcut to switch to the arrow and then go back to the eyedropper tool. Hold shift and sample my color. So the shift key fixes the problem. Now let’s take a look at the reason why it happens. You can open the eyedropper tool settings by double clicking on the eyedropper tool in the tool panel. And as we can see here on both sides, eyedropper picks up an eyedropper applies. We have appearance and appearance at the top. I’ll tap enter to go back to the artboard. So what is appearance? Well, an illustrator, that means basically the stroke and fill setting of an object and images like this photograph here don’t really have a stroke and fill setting. These are just pixels that we’re trying to sample the appearance when I click on the photograph as we can see, it’s just no fill and no stroke, so when your eyedropper has the default setting to pick up and apply appearance the shift key, lets you override that temporarily now if I go back and change the eyedropper settings and I’m going to get to those settings differently this time, just when you have the eyedropper tool selected, you can just hit the return or Enter key on your keyboard and go right back to the options panel, so if I uncheck appearance on both sides click OK now when I click, I can sample color wherever I want to here. So that’s the setting that you need to have set if your plan is just to be sampling from photographs, but I like the override shift key, shortcut myself because a lot of the time an illustrator, I do want to pick up and apply the appearance. So let me go ahead and set it back the way. I like it and I have another example for you. So if I have this pink star here and I use my eyedropper tool with the appearance settings checked and I just click here on the star. I’m actually transferring the appearance from one star to the other. I’ll undo that if I hold shift. However, I can sample the blue color and apply it to the fill of the star. So the shift override works on other objects in Illustrator, not just images with pixels. So the shift key is one great shortcut for working with the eyedropper tool in Illustrator. Here’s another one. If you hold option or alt, you can see, the eyedropper tool makes a little backwards Turn there. It flips around and it allows you to apply an appearance from one object to another now. When you’re using the eyedropper tool in Illustrator, it’s always important to keep an eye on what’s active here, the fill and the stroke right now the fill is active because it’s on top. If I click here, I’m making the stroke active So when the stroke is active, and I hold down the shift key like we were doing before to sample from the photograph. I can be sitting here sampling wondering why I’m not getting that color here. But in actuality, I have applied it. I’ve just applied it to the stroke, and if I raise my point size here, it’s really easy to see that, so that’s just something to keep an eye on when you’re working with the eyedropper tool, which attribute is active, the fill or the stroke. So now I’m gonna go ahead and switch that to none and click on blue to make sure that the fill is active. Now here’s another little trick for using the eyedropper and illustrator when you click and don’t lift up, just click and hold. You can see that the eyedropper changes here now. I drag and I’m dragging into the photograph. Right now and you can see down here. Watch the fill and Stroke icon on the tool panel. As I drag over the photograph, You can see, it turns to no fill and no stroke, but of course I’m not holding shift, so let me hold shift and now we can see just dragging around here on this photograph. I’m able to sort of go through page through a lot of colors and find the one that I really want so. Maybe this right here is the exact pink color that I want. And when I release with the eyedropper tool, I’ve added it to that star now. I can hold option or Alt and transfer it to this star. So dragging around with the eyedropper tool is a really fun way to work because you don’t have to decide on a color until you release, and it works inside of illustrator and outside of illustrator, so lets. Try this again this time. I’m going to click, and I’m not lifting up. I’m clicking and dragging, and I’m gonna use a Mac shortcut because I’m on a Mac here command tab, and this is gonna help me get to my browser, which is open right now. And now the browser is in front of illustrator. I’m still holding down the eyedropper tool And now I can just drag over to the color. I want and release, and we can see my star changes color now. I’m going to click back on the artboard, so I’m back inside of illustrator. So to recap, we’ve learned holding shift to override the default appearance, setting of the eyedropper tool we’ve learned using option Alt to use the eyedropper to apply color instead of sampling color. And we’ve seen how you can drag with the eyedropper until you find just the right color. You’re looking for inside or outside of illustrator? Finally, the number one shortcut for the eyedropper tool is the letter. I just tap I on your keyboard to get the eyedropper without having to select it in the tool panel. Alright, I hope you’ve enjoyed these eyedropper tool tips in illustrator. I’m Laura Coyle. Follow me and subscribe for more tips, tutorials and courses in Adobe Illustrator.