Use the Eyedropper to Quickly Copy Colors from Pictures in Microsoft PowerPoint

by Avantix Learning Team | updated May 29, 2020

Applies to: Microsoft® PowerPoint® 2013, 2016, 2019 and 365 (Windows)

The Eyedropper is one of those great timesaving tools that was added in PowerPoint without much fanfare. If you’re designing presentations or templates and you’d like to use consistent colors (possibly your brand colors), it can take a lot of time to match colors. However, starting with PowerPoint 2013, you can now pick up and apply specific colors quickly and easily from pictures in a presentation or even web sites using the Eyedropper. The pictures can be in any format.

Recommended article: How to Quickly Remove All Animations in PowerPoint

Note: Some Ribbon tabs may appear with slightly different names if you are using Office 365 and have a smaller screen or different display settings. Buttons on the Ribbon may appear as icons only and are also affected by screen size and display settings.

Where to find the Eyedropper

The Eyedropper appears in any drop-down menu (in PowerPoint 2013 or 2016) that you use to pick a color. This includes Shape Fill, Shape Outline, Text Fill and Text Outline.

Below is the Shape Fill drop-down menu with the Eyedropper:

PowerPoint shape fill drop-down menu in PowerPoint with the eyedropper.

Use the Eyedropper to pick up a color from a picture in PowerPoint and apply it to a shape

To pick up a specific color in a picture and use the color for a shape fill or outline in PowerPoint:

  1. In Normal View, select a shape on a slide to which you want to apply a matching color.
  2. Click the Drawing Tools Format tab in the Ribbon.
  3. Click the Shape Fill or Shape Outline drop-down menu.
  4. Select the Eyedropper.
  5. Move the mouse over the picture. A color will appear in the preview window beside the Eyedropper cursor.
  6. Keep moving the mouse over the picture until you see the color you want to use.
  7. Click the desired color. PowerPoint will apply it to the shape as the color for the fill or outline.

When you move your pointer over different colors, the preview window displays the color and its RGB (Red Green Blue) color values if you pause on the color for a few seconds. To choose the exact color you want when many colors are close together, select the color by pressing Enter or the space bar.

Note the Eyedropper preview window in the sample below:

Eyedropper with preview to copy color in PowerPoint.

Cancel the Eyedropper

To cancel the eyedropper without picking a color, press Escape (Esc).

Use the Eyedropper to pick up a color from an external picture or application and apply it to a shape

To match the color of an external picture or application and apply it to a shape:

  1. Resize the PowerPoint window so that you can view the window of the other application. You could do this by clicking the Restore button on the top right of the PowerPoint window.
  2. In PowerPoint, in Normal View, select the shape on a slide to which you want to apply a matching color.
  3. Click the Drawing Tools Format tab in the Ribbon.
  4. Click the drop-down menu for the color you wish to copy.
  5. Select the Eyedropper.
  6. Left-click in the slide and drag your mouse (do not release the mouse button). You will now be able to move your mouse outside of the PowerPoint window.
  7. Hover over areas outside of the PowerPoint window until you see the color you want to use in the preview.
  8. Release the mouse on your desired color to apply that color to the selected shape.

Use the Eyedropper with text

The Eyedropper appears in the Text Color drop-down menu on the Home tab.

You can also use the Eyedropper to copy colors using WordArt Styles:

  1. Select the text and click the Drawing Tools Format tab in the Ribbon.
  2. Click on the Text Fill or Text Outline color drop-down menu in the WordArt Styles group.
  3. Select the Eyedropper.
  4. Move the mouse over the picture. A color will appear in the preview window beside the Eyedropper cursor.
  5. Keep moving the mouse over the picture until you see the color you want to use.
  6. Click the desired color. PowerPoint will apply it to the text as the color for the fill or outline.

Below is text with color matched from the picture on the left using Text Fill in the WordArt Styles group:

Eyedropper used to copy a precise color to text from an image.

For precise color matching, the Eyedropper is a fantastic tool if you have PowerPoint 2013 or later versions.

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Summary
How to Match Colors in PowerPoint using the Eyedropper
Article Name
How to Match Colors in PowerPoint using the Eyedropper
Description
In newer versions of PowerPoint, you can match colors by picking up and applying specific colors from a picture on a slide or even on a web site using the Eyedropper. This is great for slide designers who need to use specific RGB colors on their slides.
Author
Publisher Name
Avantix Learning Inc.

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