I'm working on various color schemes for my design elements. I wish I could simply fill the elements by copying and pasting hex-values using keyboard shortcuts.

Everytime, I have to double click on the 'Fill' to open 'Color Picker' where I get to paste the copied hex value, which is breaking my flow.

Is there a way to set a shortcut or workaround to address this issue?

  • Are you copying the hex value to paste in another program? I don't understand why you have to copy and paste inside illustrator.
    – LeoNas
    Aug 3, 2018 at 18:17
  • Might be better to set up a bunch of colour swatches, one for each colour you need, rather than copying and pasting hexadecimal numbers.
    – Billy Kerr
    Aug 3, 2018 at 20:09
  • @LeoNas I'm copy pasting from color schemes that I either generate online or copy paste from other sites. Aug 3, 2018 at 20:43
  • I have exactly the same issue. We both need something that pops open the colour picker, and effectively then presses CTRL+V then Enter
    – Popnoodles
    Nov 29, 2021 at 23:51

5 Answers 5


Use the Color Panel not the Color Picker. That's the entire reason there is a Color Panel in Illustrator. You do not ever really need the Color Picker.

enter image description here

  • 1
    I don't think you have understood my question or my actual problem. I need ways to easily copy paste hex values that I collect outside of Illustrator. Using the Color Picker or Color Panel, I'm only being able to get hex values not paste hex values through a keyboard shortcut. Currently I have , set to Color as a shortcut. Every time I select an element, hit , and try to paste the color, it get's printed on screen as a new text layer. So, using Color Panel isn't helping hoping I'm not doing anything wrong. Aug 4, 2018 at 9:53
  • 2
    As far as I'm a ware, there are no shortcuts to enter text fields on panels or in the Color Picker. Basically I don't think you can merely paste into a UI field anywhere without first placing the cursor into the field itself.
    – Scott
    Aug 4, 2018 at 18:00

Set your base color (CYMK/ RGB / Hex)

First set your eyedroper copy and paste attributes. Double click the eyedropper tool.

enter image description here

Then if you are satisfied. Select the target layer or object and press I.

This will copy the appearance (Fill,Stroke, Colors etc.) and paste it to the chosen layer or object.

  • This partially solves my problem as I still have to bring in the design element inside of Illustrator to pick colors. I'm talking about getting attracted by a color outside of Illustrator, copying its hex-values and pasting it to an element inside Illustrator with keyboard shortcuts. Aug 5, 2018 at 18:24

That's my workflow:

If you can see any color outside the illustrator you can grab its color using the eyedropper tool.

Select the object you want to apply the color. Pick the eyedropper tool. Click and drag it to outside the illustrator (don't release it).

Now it will sample any color inside and outside Illstrator.

I made a picture grabing colors from this site.

See it below:

enter image description here

  • This used to work, but has stopped working in Chrome. All I get from Chrome is black now.
    – Betty
    Jan 26, 2022 at 3:49
  • @Betty, I tested here and still working with the latest Illustrator and Chrome versions.
    – LeoNas
    Jan 28, 2022 at 11:44

I see you're in a lot of pain. You can directly click on the hex panel here. It will reduce 'one' click of yours. That's half relief i guess. :D I am facing same problem. No keyboard shortcut can be assigned for this. enter image description here

  • 1
    Hello Rohit Bisht, welcome to GD.SE and thanks for your help! Unfortunately, everything you're telling us has already been covered by Scott's answer. As we are a Q&A site, and not a regular forum, we frown on duplicating answers that have already been given. Please have a look at the tour and the help center to get up to speed with the Stack Exchange system and this site in particular. Do know that we're happy to have you, although we are a bit finicky at times. Enjoy the site and have fun learning!
    – Vincent
    Oct 12, 2018 at 9:34

Unfortunately, there's no way to open the Color Picker (which is inarguably the superior color panel, despite what other comments may suggest) via shortcut without going to the bother of writing a JSX script, adding it you your Illustrator startup scripts, recording an action to run the script, then assigning a macro to run the action. That's probably more work than it's worth in most cases, but something like this would be the code you'd need:

        "default" + (app.isFillActive() ? "Fill" : "Stroke") + "Color"

It's a really goofy thing for Adobe to leave out as an option in the custom keyboard shortcuts menu, even if they don't want to assign one by default.

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