Sampling colors outside of Illustrator

Enthusiast ,
Mar 03, 2018

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I used to be able to use the Eyedropper tool to copy colors anywhere on my computer -- web pages, other applications, and so forth. I start by holding down the Eyedropper and dragging outside the Illustrator window without letting go of the mouse until the mouse is on top of the color I want.

For some reason, I cannot do that anymore. Does anyone know why or how to make the eyedropper work the way it used to?

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1 Correct Answer

Adobe Community Professional , Mar 03, 2018
jane-e Adobe Community Professional , Mar 03, 2018
Check the Fill / Stroke box to confirm you are on the Fill.And remember it's the tip of the mouse that's active. So if you put most of the mouse on something orange, but the tiny tip is on something black, you will pick up black.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Mar 03, 2018

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still works that way for me. which version of illustrator? which OS? are you using more than one monitor?

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Enthusiast ,
Mar 03, 2018

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Windows 7, only one monitor, Illustrator CC 2018. Failed on two different computers.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Mar 03, 2018

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https://forums.adobe.com/people/jay+fresno  wrote

. I start by holding down the Eyedropper and dragging outside the Illustrator window without letting go of the mouse until the mouse is on top of the color I want.

There is one step I am not reading, so I don't know if you are doing it or not:

  • Select the Eyedropper tool (okay to let go)
  • Press and hold inside Illustrator (this is what you didn't write)
  • Drag from inside Illustrator to outside Illustrator until the mouse is on the color you want
  • Release the mouse

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Enthusiast ,
Mar 03, 2018

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Yes, that's exactly what I do, but you explained it better.

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Enthusiast ,
Mar 03, 2018

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Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't. When it doesn't work, it usually changes the active color to black or gray instead of the actual color that the Eyedropper is sampling.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Mar 03, 2018

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Check the Fill / Stroke box to confirm you are on the Fill.

And remember it's the tip of the mouse that's active. So if you put most of the mouse on something orange, but the tiny tip is on something black, you will pick up black.

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Enthusiast ,
Mar 03, 2018

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Hard to say now, but yesterday when I tried it, it may have been the fill/stroke issue.

Today, trying it on a different computer, after your suggestions, I put the cap lock key down so that I could see exactly where the eyedropper was, and it worked.

Thank you for your helpful suggestions.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Mar 03, 2018

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Oh hooray! I love that feature too, and would hate it if it stopped working.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jul 10, 2019

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It works for me in both Safari and Firefox on my Macintosh with Illustrator CC 2019 (23.0.4).

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New Here ,
Dec 31, 2020

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Jay,

thats really helpful, CAPS LOCK! and all in one monitor (using PC 2020 ilustrator version)
Tks

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New Here ,
Aug 26, 2018

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This feature does not work on new internet browsers. Must be updated absolutely.

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New Here ,
Aug 26, 2018

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I will report a bug. But I do not know where I should go.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Aug 26, 2018

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  schrieb

I will report a bug. But I do not know where I should go.

http://illustrator.uservoice.com

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Engaged ,
Jul 07, 2019

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This is NOT solution for me. 

I've tried everything listed here and on YouTube videos and I can't get Illustrator 2019 to work on any web site or app external to illustrator.  Works find within Illustrator, but as soon as I move the eye dropper outside of illustrator and hover over the external element it never changes color, and no matter what I release on it comes out black fill.

This is really frustrating, something that works in Photoshop doesn't work in Illustrator ... does the left hand talk to the right hand at all in Adobe, or do the software engineers work in departmental vacuums?

Rob.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jul 08, 2019

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https://forums.adobe.com/people/Rob+Ainscough  schrieb

This is NOT solution for me. 

I've tried everything listed here and on YouTube videos and I can't get Illustrator 2019 to work on any web site or app external to illustrator.  Works find within Illustrator, but as soon as I move the eye dropper outside of illustrator and hover over the external element it never changes color, and no matter what I release on it comes out black fill.

This is really frustrating, something that works in Photoshop doesn't work in Illustrator ... does the left hand talk to the right hand at all in Adobe, or do the software engineers work in departmental vacuums?

Rob.

No problem to pick up colors from a web site (Mac OS 10.12, Safari and Illustrator 23)

I just don't know why I would want to do it, because color management (or the lack thereof) would kick in and I would need to double check if it's really the color used on the web site anyway.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jul 08, 2019

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Checking both CC2018 and 2019 now on Windows 10, I'm seeing a different in browsers. It doesn't work in Chrome or Edge, but works in Firefox.

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Engaged ,
Jul 10, 2019

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Yes ... not working for Chrome or Edge or IE11 for that matter.  I don't have Firefox nor Safari.

Oddly the eye dropper does work in Photoshop with Chrome and Edge, but NOT in Illustrator?

So the "working" code obviously exists, unfortunate that Adobe don't development teams don't seem to "share" their code??

Cheers, Rob.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jul 10, 2019

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Development on Adobe applications doesn't usually allow sharing a "cup of code" from one app to another.

Certain features can used shared libraries (creating PDF, I think is one), but not for more general functions.

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