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Sometimes when using Adobe Illustrator I need to get a range of tints from a certain color, so I'll drop the opacity to, say, 75%, 50%, and 25% on a white background to get there. It's the quickest way to get what I want in that moment, but then it comes back to bite me later when I put something underneath and then I have visibly overlapping layers.

What I want to be able to do is get the value of the color that I'm seeing. In Photoshop I'd do this by putting a white layer underneath, merging the two layers, and then sampling the color. Is there some sort of trick I can pull in Illustrator to do the same thing?

If not, is there a different (and preferably simple) way to add white to a color? Changing S and B values in the color picker is the only thing I could think of in that regard and isn't always terribly simple to do...

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3 Answers 3

up vote 2 down vote accepted

In Illustrator, the easiest way I've found is ...

  • Select the transparent object(s)
  • Choose Object > Rasterize...
  • Use the Eyedropper Tool to Shift-Click the color.
  • Make note of the color in the Color Panel. (write it down)
  • Then Edit > Undo Twice to get back to the unrasterized object(s)

You can adjust colors based on Hue Saturation and Brightness in Illustrator as well. In the Color Panel menu simply choose HSB.


The panel will have a tendency to jump back tot he document color mode (CMYK or RGB) so you may have to continually reset the Panel to HSB though. This is an annoyance that hopefully the AI dev team will fix at some point.

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Obtuse, but effective. Bummer there's not an easier solution. For anyone reading along at home, make sure you do Object > Rasterize as Scott said, not Effect > Rasterize as I tried to do on my own before rereading this more closely! –  Brendan Sep 5 '12 at 16:40

I just made a screenshot of my project and pasted it right back and then sampled the color from that object, seems to work!

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i know it's been years but i'm just trying to help out anyone else searching for the right method (like i did, 10 mins ago)

If you're talking about picking a color through layers of transparencies then all you need to do is select everything and Object > Flatten Transparency then push both resolution to max.

And ta-daah! The cool fact is if you group those objects together before flattening, they will stay inside the group.

(I would advice you to set those colours into custom swatches right away)

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