Try using the color picker from the swatches panel instead. You can drag it outside the program window to sample a color on your desktop.
Hi Linda... thanks for your reply.
When I have the swatches panel open, as soon as I move the mouse outsite the panel it's not an eyedropper anymore. Am I missing a step?
Hmm. It works as it should on my Mac. Which operating system are you using? Do you have the latest version of the Flash payer installed?
It doesn't necessarily have to be a dropper. Try clicking any way and see if you pick up the color. i have seen it work with just an arrow and not the dropper. Can't explain why:-)
This known issue has still not been fixed on Lion. Adobe have a pretty bad attitude towards their paying customers.
I know this is a dated thread, but I stumbled across it looking for an answer to the same problem. Since there wasn't a solution on this thread I kept on looking and found the answer, or at least an easy workaround.
Issue: CS4 Fireworks and OS X 10 Lion - color picker (eyedropper) does not work, only returns black.
1. Click the colored tile as usual to bring up the default color picker panel.
2. Click the little colored wheel at the top right to bring up the Apple color picker.
3. Click the little magnifying glass at the top left.
4. Click anywhere in the screen to sample the color.
5. See that the colored tile to the right of the magnifying glass has changed to th eselected color and click "OK".
This workaround also has the added benefit of making it easier to precisely select the color you want. This may also work with Dreamweaver, Flash, etc., not sure, haven't tried it.
I think it stinks that Adobe hasn't taken the little time required to fix this bug. It's a petty way to take a shot at Apple as well as try and force people to upgrade from CS4. They should be ashamed. I've been using Dreamweave and Fireworks since before Adobe acquired them but this is the last Adobe Suite I will ever buy. Photoshop and other web and design software have surpassed this lazy, fading company IMHO so why pay for their lack of support? [/rant]
In any case, hope this helps anyone that follows!
I've never experienced the color picker problem on my iMac, so it seems to be a pretty hit or miss kind of bug. It's possible that the problem is being caused by something different in the configuration of some machines. One possibility is that you need a Java update. Java no longer comes preinstalled on Mac's.
I'm glad to hear that it's working for you Linda. CS4 worked fine on my iMac running OS X Snow Leopard but broke with Lion. It's working on my Mac mini with Snow Leopard as well (haven't upgraded due to a VPN legacy issue). I have an Apple Dev license and am running it on my MacBook Air with OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion and it exhibits the same problem (among others).
So this particular Fireworks issue has nothing to do with Java (at least in my case) and based on numerous posts here as well as plenty of other forums it's not rare.
As mentioned I've been using Fireworks, Dreamweaver, etc. long before Adobe acquired Macromedia and until now it's never been problematic. The eyedropper issue certainly isn't the only problem CS4 and newer Adobe suites display these days either. It's too bad because I did like using it, however now it's time to move on to a company that keeps up with technology.
Thanks though and best of luck!
Does the "eyedropper/black" bug affect Dreamweaver and Flash, too? If so, I think that'd be worth noting.
You may notice a small color shift when sampling colors with the Mac OS Color Picker in Fireworks. It's a subtle but persistent bug caused by a lack of integration between the color-managed Mac OS and the not-color-managed Fireworks application. It's been fixed in Dreamweaver CS6 but has yet to be addressed in either Fireworks or Flash.
I'm not sure if the eyedropper bug affects Flash or Dreamweaver. I stopped developing in Flash a couple of years ago since it was quickly becoming a dinosaur. Any image adjustments I'd make in Dreamweaver automatically open Fireworks, so I can't speak to that either, sorry.
I did note the color shift you mentioned. If it's not mission-critical, no big deal, but if so I switch to Photoshop...or even Camtasia's SnagIt program now which does a surprisingly good job of quick edits without the bloat.