8 Replies Latest reply on Apr 21, 2017 7:40 AM by Wai2013

    Trouble Sampling Colors with Eyedropper Tool: InDesign CS5

    chirrchirr Level 1

      Hey everyone,

      My name is Quin, and I've used InDesign CS5 for the past few years and am working on a magazine layout for the first time. I'm suddenly having a really difficult time getting the eye-dropper tool to extract color samples from images i've placed in my layout. These are either jpeg or PDF images. If I recall correctly, in my past use of the program, i could simply click the eyedropper tool in an image and get my color sample – but suddenly, i'm having trouble getting it to sample color/make a color swatch.


      I tried double clicking the tool and excluding everything i wouldn't want it to sample. Tried locking/unlocking layers, tried making sure the image frame itself is selected, tried holding down option, tried trashing the preferences (using a 2012 MacBook Air with the latest version of OS X Mountain Lion)… most of the time when i attempt to sample a color, nothing shows up in the fill box, except the classic diaognal red line over white.


      The exception is when i use the eyedropper to sample non-image base things i've already filled, like a retangle, it picks up the color fine. So it's likely image specific. Is there something really obvious that i'm missing? It's frustrating because i simply want to sample colors to get a rough idea for text colors and headlines that can match images, and there doesn't seem to be a quick way to do this…


      Thanks so much for the help!


        • 1. Re: Trouble Sampling Colors with Eyedropper Tool: InDesign CS5
          Izac R... Level 1

          Hello Quin i found this thread because i had the same exact problem. Heres what i found works for me,


          1. use the selection tool and select the object you want to pull color from.


          2. select the eyedropper tool and left click on the color you want to make a swatch


          3. without clicking anything else click the swatches panel > click the little menu button (top right corner of the swatch panel)


          4. select "new color swatch"


          5. the color you slected should appear


          If this does not work for you then im sorry but i dont know how else to help


          if its really just a bug all i can suggest is a full reinstall of indesign but that should only be used as a last measure.

          • 2. Re: Trouble Sampling Colors with Eyedropper Tool: InDesign CS5
            timtnnc Level 1

            The hidden secret that's driven me crazy too when trying to use the eyedropper is this:

            Double click on the eyedropper tool and an options menu should pop up. That's where you select the attribute(s) you want the eyedropper to pick up. As Glenda the Good Witch would say, 'that's all it is!'

            1 person found this helpful
            • 3. Re: Trouble Sampling Colors with Eyedropper Tool: InDesign CS5
              sfg Level 1

              Quin, I just had a eureka moment! I was having the exact same problem,  unable to sample color from images with the eyedropper tool, and when I sampled text to apply formatting, it strangely applied a black rule around the new text. The problem was intermittent, with the tool both working  and not working within the same document. I finally realized the tool was  misbehaving when sampling an item on the document, but worked fine when sampling images or text on the pasteboard.


              So, the document I'm working on is an ad with a 1pt rule around the border. I have the border on it's own layer at the top level, and locked, so I can select items on the ad without the border getting in the way. What I found is, even though it's locked, the eyedropper tool is sampling the border from that layer!


              I tried turning off  stroke  settings in the eyedropper options just gave my text a fill of 'none.' Turning off both stroke and fill settings had no effect on the new text at all. I tried unlocking the layer and just locking the border on it's own, but it still picked up the formatting from the border.


              The only thing that worked is to hide the layer! Turn off the layer 'eyeball' and see if that works for you.

              1 person found this helpful
              • 4. Re: Trouble Sampling Colors with Eyedropper Tool: InDesign CS5
                ocube Level 1

                Have you found a solution for this?

                • 5. Re: Trouble Sampling Colors with Eyedropper Tool: InDesign CS5
                  wlym Level 1

                  Thank you so much for discovering the cause of this major (new?) annoyance! I can't remember with what version it started intermittently acting up but simple tasks like sampling a type style and applying it to another selection of type has become a headache in InDesign CC. I never would've guessed that in this case InDesign has been sampling a framed box (or something else on a higher layer) rather than the type directly below the cursor!


                  For me, turing off the layer wasn't enough, ID still sampled that style rather than the type under the cursor. When I moved the target type onto the pasteboard (and away from any other layer's elements), the eyedropper tool worked as it used to.


                  This behaviour and InDesign's penchant for defaulting to the new Color Theme Tool when I hit "I" for the Eyedropper (why do they share the same shortcut?!) are the cause of much cursing in my studio.


                  Anyway, at least now I have a workaround.

                  • 6. Re: Trouble Sampling Colors with Eyedropper Tool: InDesign CS5
                    ribik Level 1

                    The problem is you have "appearance" enabled as part of the sampling. To fix this do the following:

                    Double click on the Eye dropper tool, and uncheck "Appearance" in the Eye Dropper Picks up section.


                    It's a bug I think and it should be fixed when you are sampling color from images.

                    • 7. Re: Trouble Sampling Colors with Eyedropper Tool: InDesign CS5
                      AriesFaries Level 1

                      Anyone have this resolved? Using Mac Air Sierra illustrator cs5 and getting a similar problem (just happened all of a sudden?). Am using the eyedropper tool to try take shades of the pdf and no matter what colour I'm trying to sample, it just gives the same greeny/blacky colour. Here is a example below. So taking a screenshot of the the mac background to get the shade of blue, however when using eyedropper tool to make the square black, it just gives the same colour!Screen Shot 2017-01-27 at 2.21.21 am.png

                      • 8. Re: Trouble Sampling Colors with Eyedropper Tool: InDesign CS5
                        Wai2013 Level 1

                        I think I have an answard to this. I had the exact same problem like Quin. I played with Izac R...suggestions, found that simply with eyedropper, holding shift key and click on image color (no selections needed). And voilàColor showed up in swatch fill!

                        Let me know does it work for you.