I want to grab one of the colors from a gradient, and turn it into a solid color swatch.


Just to be precise, I want to get the color of one of the 'nodes' in the gradient. So if a a gradient goes from red to blue, I might want to grab the exact color blue from the blue node – i'm not wanting to grab any of the inbetween colors.

  • You used to be able to drag from the pencil icon below the gradient bar and drag to the colour swatches. It doesn't do that anymore. All of the above routes only get you to view the colour, NOT add to the swatches, which is what I'm looking for.
    – CMC
    Commented Aug 14, 2018 at 9:06

6 Answers 6


If I understand you correctly; you can click on the little arrow in the gradient tab, that represent the colour you want to find: enter image description here


Or, you could select the gradient object, and click the "create new colour group" at the bottom of the swatch window. This will give you a colour group with all the "main" colours in your gradient:

enter image description here

  • 1
    "Create new colour group" was exactly what I was looking for. BTW, in method one you have to double click on the arrow/node to bring up the colour mixer. Commented Jan 22, 2014 at 4:17

Here's a copy of an old post in Adobe forum, I think it works:

Assuming you mean you want to pick up colors between color stops of a Grad, so as to apply them to another object:

  1. DoubleClick the Eyedropper tool. Make sure its Appearance checkbox is on.
  2. Rectangle Tool: Draw a rectangle. Leave it selected. Assume this is the object to which you want to apply a color sampled from the unselected grad-filled object.
  3. Eyedropper Tool: ShiftClick the grad-filled object anywhere within its gradient.

If you have the Color palette open, you'll see that the sampled color also becomes the current fill color. So from the Color palette's flyout menu, you can now select Create New Swatch.

  • 1
    Can you link to the source and also ensure that you are not commiting any copyright infringement by posting it here?
    – Wrzlprmft
    Commented Jun 17, 2015 at 11:12

If you have a 'live' gradient applied to an object within Illustrator, you can generate a set of flat swatches by selecting the object and clicking the 'edit gradient' (in the gradients palette). Add some nodes to the gradient wherever you want a new colour. Then, go to your swatches palette and create a new colour group, using the 'from selected artwork' option when it pops up. You'll get a new swatch set with all the nodes you created.

a little screenshot of my palettes as I follow the process outlined


Is the gradient from an image? Then use the color picker. Is the gradient done in Illustrator you can simply look it up in the gradient tab.

  • It is an illustrator gradient. How do i "look it up" in the gradient tab? This was actually my initial question (although I was probably a little vague). Commented Jan 21, 2014 at 8:03

Well maybe ther is an option for colopicker-tool. i found the easiest way just duplicate your gradient object and just rasterize it. color picking is now just easy like on every image file.


My way of solving it is (on my Mac) is to take a screenshot (cmd+ctrl+shift+4), use Photoshop by creating a new document and paste the screenshot (cmd+v). Then I use the color picker in Photoshop to get the color.

  • Obviously this will work, but this method will come back to bight you in the butt eventually. The round trip from Illustrator to Photoshop then back to Illustrator can result in different color recipes, depending on color settings, etc. You'll end up with different colors in illustrator. @boblet's "create new colour group" solution is far safer and more accurate to work.
    – TunaMaxx
    Commented Jan 21, 2014 at 17:26
  • Yes, but can you pick up the colors in between the main colors by doing that? I thought the question was to be able to pick up any color from the gradient, not just the main colors... Commented Jan 22, 2014 at 8:30
  • 2
    This may have happened after your comment, but the question has been edited to clarify that the OP was only looking for the main colors. Even still, while your method will allow picking the middle, or 'mixed' values, they will very likely be wrong. The round trip can be very destructive as you pass through various color spaces, profiles, etc. An accurate way to find the middle colors would be to Object > Expand the gradient in Illustrator and select an actual central slice of it.
    – TunaMaxx
    Commented Jan 22, 2014 at 17:32

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