Is there a way to use the eyedropper tool while typing?

I cant' type "I" to select it, because that just inserts the letter i.

2 Answers 2


TLDR: alt-eyedropper applies the copied style like a paintbrush

This answer is actually easier than what you're asking for -- you don't have to navigate to get to the next text you want to format.

Suppose that you want to use the eyedropper to modify parts of a text block but not the whole block. For example, to change the font on a bunch of different header lines or to change a bunch of words to italic.

You can’t activate the eyedropper while you’re editing, but you can get the same utility using the option key, applying it to specific words or phrases, while skipping around the document.

You don’t have to navigate to get to the text you want to format.

Using the option key:

  • deselect everything
  • press i for the eyedropper
  • click on the text with the formatting you want to copy
  • press alt/option (the icon changes orientation)
  • drag the eyedropper over the word or text you want to format, as if you were selecting it.

Note: It's frustrating that the text selection is invisible, but text formatting is updated as desired.

  • Oh wow! Solved my problem. Has Adobe mentioned it on their site? Google search shows nothing.
    – Vikas
    Commented Jun 8, 2019 at 3:35

ESC key then the i key.

Because the Eyedropper Tool has no function when editing text, you have to exit the text editing mode first. The ESC will do that.

If the intent is to use the Eyedropper Tool while still in text editing mode, I don't think that's possible. Any tool switch results in leaving text editing mode.

  • You can use the eyedropper tool while editing, I do it all the time. You just have to click on it in the tool palette.
    – Andy Swift
    Commented May 2, 2018 at 19:18
  • 2
    @AndrewSwift Forgive me but you are mistaken. As soon as you click the Eyedropper tool.. you exit text editing mode -- as in you can no longer add or delete type in the string of point or area text.. you've left text editing. Please read again.. I stated "text editing" not merely "editing".
    – Scott
    Commented May 2, 2018 at 19:23
  • vimeo.com/267962783 Illustrator CC 2017 on a Mac.
    – Andy Swift
    Commented May 4, 2018 at 8:24
  • 1
    @AndrewSwift fair enough. I was mistaken. :) I've honestly never even thought about using the eyedropper that way. I mean, that's what Paragraph and Character Styles are for. :)
    – Scott
    Commented May 4, 2018 at 9:11

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