Indesign eyedropper

by Design Workshop Sydney

The eyedropper tool in Adobe Indesign offers handy methods for copying a variety of features, both colour and text. We explain how in our Indesign courses.Indesign-eyedropper
First open an existing Indesign document, like this flyer here. We may wish to sample colours from a logo, in the situation where you don’t have access to a client’s Style Guide. Simply place one of their logos into the document, select the Eyedropper tool and click on the logo. Note that the colour appears at the bottom of your Toolbox, either as a fill or stroke colour.
To save this colour as a Swatch, now go to the Swatches panel and choose New Colour Swatch from the panel options on the top right. A dialog box opens with the colour break down in RGB and in CMYK. RGB (Red, Green, Blue) colours are used in digital printing (under 1000 copies) or in screen based imagery. CMYK stands for Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, Black and refers to the offset printing method which uses colour plates – this is an older form of printing still used for print runs of over 1000 or in fabric printing. If in doubt which colour mode to use, ask your printing company.
In either case you are given a numerical break down of the colour values. When you hit OK, the swatch will be saved with this document and can be used to colour text, borders or create coloured sidebars or footers, for example.
Another use of the eyedropper tool is to copy text formatting from one location to another. Simply format some text, as in the screenshot here. Then, to copy it elsewhere, simply click and drag the eyedropper tool over the formatted text – note the loaded text icon appears under your cursor. Then click and drag over the text you wish to copy the formatting to. Or, the other method is to select some text, then copy formatting by clicking with the eyedropper on some previously formatted text. Both methods work well. Of course, for large sections of text we would utilize the Styles functions in Indesign.
More tips can be found at the Sydney Indesign User Group which meets regularly in the city, and is a free forum for designers to discuss topics and the latest Indesign features. See many examples of our own clients’ work on our Facebook page.
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