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How to Use Eyedropper Tool in Photoshop?

  • Last Updated : 24 Jun, 2021

Adobe Photoshop is a raster-based image editing software. It is developed by Adobe.Inc and available for both macOS and Windows operating systems. You can use Photoshop to create or edit images, posters, banners, logos, invitation cards, and various types of graphic designing work. It provides various tools for designing and editing and the eyedropper tool is one of them.

Eye Dropper Tool

The eyedropper tool is one of the most easy-to-use tools in Adobe Photoshop. It is generally used by all digital painters, editors, and other people who use Photoshop. The Eyedropper tool is used to select a color from an image or any Photoshop document. Or in other words, the eyedropper tool is used to sample a color from the given image and use that sample color in whatever way you want, like in the background, foreground, etc. The symbol/icon of the eyedropper tool is as follows:  

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NOTE: The eyedropper tool will change its icon to a + sign with a circle in the middle if the Caps lock is on.

How to use the eyedropper tool?

As mentioned earlier, the eyedropper tool only function is to select the color from any part of the image.  Now, let’s understand this in detail with the help of an example:

Step 1: Open an image in Photoshop as shown below:

Step 2: Now select the eyedropper tool from the tool palate. and with the eyedropper tool selected mouse over the image (also note the “Show sampling ring” option in the options bar is checked”).

Step 3: After selecting the eyedropper tool, put your mouse over the image and click to pick the sample image. A ring will appear on the screen as shown in the below image:



We can see the foreground color and the color of the sampling ring shows the color of the point of the eyedropper tool on which it points. As we move the cursor, the color changes. Thus, the eyedropper tool is very useful to pick several different colors from the picture.  

Options of the Eyedropper tool

Now having understood the use and the working of the eyedropper tool, now let’s understand the options of the eyedropper tool on the options bar which appears when we select eyedropper tool.

Let’s understand each of them in detail:

1. Sample size 

It tells the eyedropper tool the size of the sample area from which it will pick the color. There are seven options in sample size:  

  • Point Sample: It is the default size and when this size is enabled, the tool will pick the color from the pointed pixel (i.e where the cursor is).
  • 3*3 average: If this size is enabled, the tool will pick the color from the 3*3 square average.
  • 5*5 average: If this size is enabled, the tool will pick the average color from the nearby square of 5*5 pixels.
  • 11*11 average: If this size is enabled, the tool will pick the average color from the nearby square of 11*11 pixels.
  • 31*31 average: If this size is enabled, the tool will pick the average color from the nearby square of 31*31 pixels.
  • 51*51 average:  If this size is enabled, the tool will pick the average color from the nearby square of 51*51 pixels.
  • 101*101 average:  If this size is enabled, the tool will pick the average color from the nearby square of 101*101 pixels.

2. Sample

It has five options:

  • Current layer: If this mode is enabled, the eyedropper tool will pick the color only from the current selected layer.
  • Current layer and below: If this mode is enabled, the eyedropper tool will pick the color from the current and the layers below the current selected layer.
  • All layers: As the name suggests, the eyedropper tool will pick the color from all the layers present in the document.
  • All layers no adjustment: If this mode is enabled, the eyedropper tool will pick the color combining all the visible layers in the document, but the adjustment layers will not be taken in account by the tool.
  • Current and Below no adjustment: If this mode is enabled, the eyedropper tool will pick the color from the current and the layers below the current layer but the adjustment layer will be ignored if they are present below the current layer.

3. Sampling Ring

This is a very simple option. If you enable it, you can see the ring which shows the picked color on your screen. It is usually kept checked by most users. As it helps them to pick the accurate color easily by seeing the color change, then seeing the changes from the background and foreground color section.   

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