How do you select color from outside of Illustrator?

Explorer ,
Sep 06, 2016 Sep 06, 2016

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Hey, does anyone know what happened to the color selector in Illustrator? In Photoshop, you can sample a color from anywhere outside of the app window by clicking and dragging with the eyedropper tool. I know you used to be able to do it in Illustrator too, but now it doesn't seem to be working. I tried googling the answer, but all I get are about a hundred people showing how to do it in 2012, 2013. Nothing newer than that, which leads me to believe that they much have changed something in a recent version of Ai. Not sure how to do it now. Basically, what I need to know is, How do you select color from outside of Illustrator these days? I have the most current version - Ai CC 2015.3 I believe.

Thanks much!

Ben

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correct answers 1 Correct Answer

Adobe Community Professional , Sep 06, 2016 Sep 06, 2016
My guess is yes. I'm on a Mac, but testing everything that isn't working for you and it's working just fine, including colors from browser windows and my desktop background. I just booted up my Surface (Win 10) and am getting the same results that you are describing. It could be a Windows limitation or a bug, but either way you can report it here: Feature Request/Bug Report Form​.

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Most Valuable Participant ,
Sep 06, 2016 Sep 06, 2016

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nebo,

What happens if you ShiftClick?

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Explorer ,
Sep 06, 2016 Sep 06, 2016

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When I shift-click it, the selection turns black. Doesn't select any other colors. When running it slowly, It seems like it picks the colors of the palettes & frame as I exit Ai (black being the outermost color of the frame), but then nothing. Alt does nothing either.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Sep 06, 2016 Sep 06, 2016

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What happens if you don't Shift-click, but just hold down the Shift key while dragging the Eyedropper tool with the mouse button down (or whatever you have as device)?

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Explorer ,
Sep 06, 2016 Sep 06, 2016

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Hmm... not sure I understand the question. I tried holding down the shift key, but when I move the mouse over the edge of the program, it switches to the normal arrow cursor. doesn't look like it does anything. Does it work normally for you? Do you have problems with it? If no one else does, then it must be a setting or something that I must have accidentally clicked.

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Advocate ,
Sep 06, 2016 Sep 06, 2016

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as a work around, you could press the 'print screen' button and then hit paste? then take a dropper from the newly pasted screen grab image, then hit delete to bin the image...

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Explorer ,
Sep 06, 2016 Sep 06, 2016

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I guess that could work. I'd just rather try to figure out if this works for others or not. If no one else has problems with this feature and it works fine for them, then it might be an issue on my end. It's something I use pretty frequently.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Sep 06, 2016 Sep 06, 2016

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Holding down the Shift key is not enough. Hold down the mouse button as well.

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Explorer ,
Sep 06, 2016 Sep 06, 2016

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Also, not sure if this makes much of a difference, but I'm using a PC (unfortunately).

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Sep 06, 2016 Sep 06, 2016

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You can still do it in Illustrator CC 2015.

The trick is to select the Eyedropper tool, hold down on the Illustrator pasteboard, don't release your mouse, and drag the Eyedropper anywhere on your monitor. You will see the fill color swatch at the bottom of the Tools panel changing as you drag. When your Eyedropper is on top of the color you want, release your mouse.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Sep 06, 2016 Sep 06, 2016

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Just adding that you don't need any modifier keys, like Shift. Just hold down the Eyedropper and drag.

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Explorer ,
Sep 06, 2016 Sep 06, 2016

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Hmm. Yep, exactly the way you are explaining it is what I'm looking for. It doesn't seem to be working for me. Just curious, are you by chance using a Mac? Because I'm on a PC. Wondering if that may have something to do with it.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Sep 06, 2016 Sep 06, 2016

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I'm using a PC. Are you pressing down on an artboard in Illustrator before you drag Eyedropper outside of Illustrator?

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Sep 06, 2016 Sep 06, 2016

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If it's still not working, it may be time to reset preferences.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Sep 06, 2016 Sep 06, 2016

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It's working exactly as Barbara described on my Mac. Select the eyedropper, hold the mouse button down on the artboard—don't release—drag over anything outside of AI and the color changes in the Fill or Stroke box, whichever is active. Release when you get the desired color loaded.

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Guide ,
Sep 06, 2016 Sep 06, 2016

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On my windows 7 its works too but

by selecting the eyedropper

then holding down the shift and left mouse

and with both still pressed - drag out of illustrator and release on the chosen colour

Just sampled Barbs nice brown hair here  on my second monitor

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Explorer ,
Sep 06, 2016 Sep 06, 2016

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Weird. I just tried to do just that and no beans. I wonder if it is a performance issue. Maybe it takes more beef than this computer has or something... kinda confused here.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Sep 06, 2016 Sep 06, 2016

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I'm able to sample colors from Word... so

To reset your prefs, do one of the following:

  • Press and hold Alt+Control+Shift (Windows) as you start Illustrator. Your current settings are deleted.
  • Remove or rename the AIPrefs file (Windows). New preferences files are created the next time you start Illustrator.

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Explorer ,
Sep 06, 2016 Sep 06, 2016

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Very strange. I just reset my prefs (used your first option) and it looks like nothing has changed in regards to the color issue. I tried Word too and I am able to sample colors from Word's frame (the blue part), but not from any open doc in that app. Similarly, all websites show as solid black (in the Ai picker) from anywhere on the page and the URL box as white. I can pick from a couple of icons on my desktop, but not the background. Seems like what, maybe a bug in the software or something?

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Sep 06, 2016 Sep 06, 2016

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My guess is yes. I'm on a Mac, but testing everything that isn't working for you and it's working just fine, including colors from browser windows and my desktop background.

I just booted up my Surface (Win 10) and am getting the same results that you are describing. It could be a Windows limitation or a bug, but either way you can report it here: Feature Request/Bug Report Form​.

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Explorer ,
Sep 06, 2016 Sep 06, 2016

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Oh, okay, well this is at least good to know that it's not just me. Sounds like it's a PC thing then - bummer. Thanks much for your help though - I appreciate it! If you come up with anything, please let me know. Cheers!

Ben

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Sep 06, 2016 Sep 06, 2016

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If you come up with anything, please let me know.

I will!

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Explorer ,
Sep 06, 2016 Sep 06, 2016

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Interesting. I did a bit more playing with it and it seems to pull from certain objects, but not others. For instance, I can pull colors from icons on my desktop, but not the desktop background, not from any browser, and not from any Ms Office app.
What do you mean by reset preferences? I know how to get into prefs, but do you mean to click the "reset all warning dialogs" or maybe something I don't know?

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Sep 06, 2016 Sep 06, 2016

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It works for me using Windows 7. Are you using Windows 10?

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Explorer ,
Sep 06, 2016 Sep 06, 2016

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Yep.

This message brought to you by

Mrs. Whiffles' Frozen Breakfast Bars:

"When you're hungry and on the go, don't go for a waffle, get a Whiffle!"

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