The Eyedropper Tool

You've seen the Eyedropper appear when you moved the pointer over a color swatch or over the color ramp in the Color Palette window. Its function, quite obviously and intuitively, is to pick up a bit of whatever color you touch it with, making that the active color. What's neat about this tool is that it works in the same way on a pic-ture—you can pick up a bit of sky blue, grass green, or skin, without having to identify a match for it with the Color Picker.

The Eyedropper tool is extremely helpful, especially when you are retouching a picture and need to duplicate the colors in it. Click it on any spot in the image and the color underneath its tip becomes the new foreground color. Use Option-click (Mac) or Alt+click (Windows) to select a background color instead. If you drag the Eyedropper across an image, the swatch of color in the toolbox changes each time the Eyedropper touches a new color. If you begin dragging in the Photoshop window, you can keep the mouse button down and drag anywhere on the desktop to pick up the colors of your wallpaper or icons.

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