If you want to be a good photographer or graphics designer, you may need to take color samples very often. To do so, you need to use Photoshop’s Eyedropper Tool.
The working of this tool is pretty much simple. Wherever this tool is used, it takes average of all the colors present in the vicinity and and gives the result.
In fact, Photoshop has provided a huge integration of this tool with other tools like Brush Tool etc. Whenever you are using Brush Tool just hold down Alt/Opt key to activate Eyedropper Tool temporarily.
Section 1: Eyedropper Tool Basic’s
First thing that you need to do is to activate the Eyedropper Tool. To activate this tool, all you need to do is grab it from the tool panel or you can press Shift+I again and again until it comes.
Now suppose I like the yellow tint of the bridge too much and I want to know which color is it. All I need to do is to click on the bridge while Eyedropper Tool is activated.
As long as you hold down the left mouse click to take the sample, Photoshop will keep showing you a ring made of three colors.
A: This color shows the color that you decided to pick or the color of the pixel(s) where you clicked.
B: This area shows the neutral color that is usually 50% gray.
C: This area shows the color that you is currently your foreground color (before taking sample via Eyedropper Tool). Before taking sample via Eyedropper Tool, my foreground color was White. That’s why Photoshop showed me White color.
After leaving the left mouse click, you will notice that your foreground color has now been changed to a new color.
This is pretty much basics of Eyedropper Tool where we learnt the method of using Eyedropper Tool. Keep reading if you want to learn some advance Eyedropper Tool techniques.
Section 2: Eyedropper Tool Advance
Like any other Photoshop tools, this tool also comes with it’s own settings. Below is a screenshot of the things that you will see while using Eyedropper Tool.
I am going to describe each and every setting in details.
A: Sample Size
This is nothing but the number of surrounded pixels that Photoshop will consider and take the average of the colors to determine the output color. If you choose Point Sample here, Photoshop will consider only single pixel where you clicked and make that color as your foreground color. If you choose 5 by 5, Photoshop will consider total 25 pixels (5 X 5) and take average of all the colors.
It is suggested to confine yourself with 5 by 5. In larger documents, you can go for 11 by 11 or 31 by 31.
I think this is pretty much simple option and you all might have used at some point of time.
Anyways, if the Sample is “Current Layer”, Photoshop will consider the currently activated layer to determine the color. If you have selected “All Layers”, Photoshop will consider all the layers to take the sample.
C: Show Sampling Ring
If you have followed the previous section, you might have remembered that I discussed about a ring with three colors. That ring will only be shown if this option is turned on. If it is off, no rings will be shown.
This is all about Photoshop Eyedropper Tool. Browse all the tutorials in Get to Know Photoshop series.