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When I place a few objects one over another, each with different colors and transparencies, so that they all overlap somewhere, how would I measure the color on this overlapping area? Similar to the way the eyedropper in photoshop would just give me the color of the pixel he is hovering.

Is this possible without ridiculous detours? All I could imagine is making a screenshot pasting it and measuring from there - but this kind of the definition of a ridiculous detour...

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6 Answers 6

up vote 4 down vote accepted

Another slightly easier workaround would be to use Photoshop's eyedropper tool directly.

This doesn't seem to be commonly known, but it can sample outside Photoshop docs.

With the Eyedropper tool selected, click and hold in a Photoshop document, then drag to any point on your screen, release and you'll sample the colour at that point.

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You are right, probably some website developer's color picker would suffice as well. At least in the RGB spectrum, but I assume this would be the case with photoshop's out of work area picker as well... –  Jan Mar 23 '12 at 13:17

The easiest way i found to sample any colour in illustrator document is using navigator window in combination with eyedropper tool. Open navigator window, resize and place it as you want to see the whole document. Select eyedropper tool, click and hold mouse button (tap and hold if you using a stylus) and drag cursor to any place on the navigator window, after releasing a button (stylus) you coping a colour to selected object as fill or stroke, depending on what is selected at this moment. With this method you sampling only colour of the picture as it looks like on the screen without switching to another program

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Hi formozoid, welcome to GDSE and thanks for your answer. If you have any questions, please see the help center or ping one of us in chat once your reputation is sufficient (20). Keep contributing and enjoy the site! –  Vincent Feb 6 at 15:15
Forget to write about one restriction of this method. If navigator window overlapping a document window, this trick doesn't work. Navigator window must be placed in any part of illustrator workspace outside document area. –  formozoid Feb 6 at 15:35

Just printscreen, paste, pick the color, and delete pasted bitmap.

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Thanks for the contribution! Your answer is a little short. It would be better if you added more detail in your answer, particularly regarding how to pick the color –  Zach Saucier Feb 2 at 13:49

Try using the DigitalColor Meter app in the Utilities folder. It lets you sample any pixel you can see on the screen, in all flavors of RGB or Lab.

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OMG. You just made my life so much easier –  Brooks Aug 12 '14 at 20:13

I think the closest to what you are looking for is Flatten Transparency, under the Object menu, which breaks the selected objects up into objects with fill colours based on the result of their overlaps. Still a bit of a detour but it gives you the colours as proper fill colours which can be picked up with the eye dropper or used any other way.

enter image description here

Since it changes the original objects you'll probably want to copy them off the art board then flatten transparency the copy, or, flatten, get the swatches you need, then undo the flattening.

(when working in cmyk, watch out for gamut-related surprises when turning the partially transparent version of a red or blue into a solid swatch, resulting in what appears like a big change in colour)

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Unfortunately, no.

An easier hoop may be to select the object, choose Object Rasterize. Then shift-click and area with the Eyedropper Tool. Note the color, then undo twice.

Or, select the objects, drag them to the Symbols Panel to create a symbol. Shift-click with the Eyedropper tool. Then choose "Break Link" from the Symbol's Panel menu.

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Whow - that's sad! –  Jan Mar 22 '12 at 1:05

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