Is there a way to change the color picker to emulate illustrator or photoshop's color picker?

I can never figure out how to get to the color I want in InDesign. I always have to go to the other programs and pick the color then use the RGB/CMYK values.

  • Do you mean it doesn't have the color picker (eye dropper)? Sep 13, 2013 at 20:19
  • I may have meant the color window or whatever it's called. Sep 13, 2013 at 21:53
  • I'm curious about this, too. When I open the InDesign color picker, I want the big square box on the left to be set up with white at the top left, black at the bottom left (and a range of value from light to dark running down the left edge. I want fully saturated color at the top right, and desaturated color at the bottom right. I want the slider just to the right of the big square box to be many hues. I KNOW I have had this in InDesign before. How do I get it back?
    – user42082
    Apr 9, 2015 at 20:53

4 Answers 4


Illustrator and Photoshop allow for color picker selection using Hue, Saturation, and Brightness (as well as Hex).

Illustrator color picker

Illustrator CS6 color picker

Indesign does not allow for Hue, Saturation, and Brightness (or hex) specification in the color picker. But Indesign does offer LAB* color selection where Photoshop and Illustrator do not.

Indesign color picker

Indesign CC color picker

Don't ask me why things are this way. I don't know. Just a testament to "Adobe's Unified UI" I guess.

  • Maybe my question should be "how to use the color picker window in indesign" Sep 15, 2013 at 19:49
  • Actually, I don't think I ever use the color picker. I use the Color Panel or the Swatch Panel. There's little call for the actual color picker in Indesign.
    – Scott
    Sep 16, 2013 at 13:08

InDesign's color picker is not easy to select colors along a light-to-dark scale. Possibly because this is a separate functionality in the 'color' panel found in window > color > color. I find that so frustrating that I just use Adobe Kuler for everything and bypass the color picker entirely.

Kuler is an extension enabled in window > extensions > Kuler. Window, extensions, Kuler

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Are you talking about picking colours with the eye dropper? If you want to choose a colour from one shape to copy to another, you have to deselect everything and use the eye dropper to select the colour you want. Then with the eye dropper "full" click on the object you want to copy the fill and or stroke to, For both fill and stroke just click and it will copy; for just fill hold shift and click.

enter image description here

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I'm not entirely sure what your looking for. Indesign's colour palette is almost identical to Illustrator's .

With both you can double click on the colour swatch to bring up a more detailed dialog (CS5 below).

Indesign & Illustrator Colour Palettes

If you're referring to the eyedropper values. When dealing with linked files Indesign uses a proxy image. As far as I can tell that image varies depending on your zoom level/quality settings. That's while you'll get the "eyedropper values are approximate" dialog whenever you click on a linked image.

If you're using elements that are created in Indesign proper (boxes and other shapes) then the eyedropper behaves just as you'd expect, selecting the colour of the item you've clicked on.

  • In illustrator and photoshop, you can pick the tint and shade of the hue in the left big box and the hue in the right vertical box. In InDesign, I don't know what the relationship between the two boxes are which is why I can't figure it out. Sep 13, 2013 at 21:52
  • 1
    When one looks at the two color pickers in your screenshots above, the differences are obvious. Look at how one selects different parts of the color spectrum, for example. C'mon Adobe, really?
    – Nick
    Apr 2, 2014 at 20:26

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