The eyedropper tool

The eyedropper tool — which you can select by pressing I — provides the most convenient and straightforward means of selecting colors in Photoshop. This is so straightforward, in fact, it's hardly worth explaining. But quickly, here's how the eyedropper tool works:

♦ Selecting a foreground color: To select a new foreground color, click the desired color inside any open image window with the eyedropper tool. (This assumes the foreground icon in the Color palette is selected. If the background icon is selected, Alt-click with the eyedropper tool to lift the foreground color.) You can even click inside a background window to lift a color without bringing that window to the foreground.

4 Selecting a background color: To select a new background color, Alt-click the desired color with the eyedropper tool. (Again, this assumes the foreground icon is selected in the Color palette. If the background icon is selected, click with the eyedropper to lift the background color.)

4 Skating over the color spectrum: You can animate the foreground color control box by dragging with the eyedropper tool in an image window or along the color bar in the Color palette. As soon as you achieve the desired color, release your mouse button. To animate the background color icon, Alt-drag with the eyedropper tool. The icon color changes as you move the eyedrop-per tool. Again, swap these procedures if the background color icon is selected in the Color palette.

4 Sampling multiple pixels: Normally, the eyedropper tool selects the color from the single pixel on which you click. If you prefer to average the colors of several neighboring pixels, however, choose either the 3 by 3 Average or 5 by 5 Average option from the Sample Size pop-up menu on the Options bar. Or right-click with the eyedropper to display a pop-up menu of sampling options near the cursor. In this case, you get one additional choice, Copy Color as HTML, which works just as it does when you select it from the Color palette pop-up menu. Photoshop determines the hexadecimal code for the color and sends the code to the Clipboard so that you can use Edit ^ Paste to dump the code into an HTML file.

Tip To access the eyedropper tool temporarily when using the type, paint bucket, gra

.dient, line, pencil, airbrush, or paintbrush tool, press Alt. The eyedropper cursor * remains in force for as long as the Alt key is down. The eyedropper lifts whatever color is active in the Color palette (foreground or background). To lift the other color, switch to the eyedropper tool by pressing the I key and then Alt-click in an image window.

Photoshop Secrets

Photoshop Secrets

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