I created a logo in illustrator and after much experimentation, settled with a design which the client approved.

The problem is, some shapes have a transparency of 60% which looks amazing on white but I need to clean this up before sending final files to the client.

Question: How do I get an accurate solid colour value from a 60% transparent shape in Illustrator?

Things I've tried:

  • The eyedropper in illustrator only gathers the 100% colour value not the 60%+white which I need.

  • Pasting / Importing into Photoshop changes the colour appearance completely even though both are viewing as CMYK


Sounds like Object → Flatten Transparency might work for you:

Flatten Transparency dialog

Take a look at this simplified example:

Illustrator screenshot

Using Flatten Transparency will turn the two shapes into 3 with the transparency, well, flattened:

Illustrator screenshot

Unfortunately, this does not preserve the colors exactly as they are initially rendered. In the example above, the lighter pink changes from #FFABAB to #FFA9A9 (using CS5). Use with caution!

  • Select the shapes.
  • Object > Rasterize
  • Shift-click with Eyedropper Tool
  • Note color (write the numbers down)
  • Edit > Undo Eyedropper (this is why you need to write down the color)
  • Edit > Undo Rasterize

Another way is to simply duplicate the objects, rasterize, shift-Eyedropper, then delete the duplicates.


While the existing answers are good i'll add another option. This only works on rgb documents.

  • Take a screenshot paste it into your image.

  • Sample the color.

  • Delete image.

Benefit of this approach is that all steps can be done with the keyboard.


No need to write down values. Duplicate the image next to the original, rasterize it, select parts of the same color you want to change in your original and eyedrop the corresponding color on your flattened image. It will update the selected parts to that color, without need of transpareny.



but that seems to be the question asked here ...

So after seeing these work around methods and not really finding them to be a satisfactory solution ... I use this method:

Select your base colour in CMYK values (lets say a nice green ... because green is a nice colour) ... add the shape in white over the top and set your transparency of the white shape (lets say at 50% ... because that's in the middle)

so we have our nice green base and our shape looking like a lighter shade of that nice green ... (lets call that ... nice pastel green)

to get CMYK values for our nice pastel green we first use our eyedropper tool ... and click on our background colour our base GREEN

now we have that colour selected ... go to the colour guide palette - and we see our base colour GREEN selected in the colour swatch go to the top right of the palette and the colour guide options and set the steps to either 10 or 20 ... (20 is max) that gives you tints of the colour from the base through to white or to black in 10% increments or in 5% increments (depending on if you made 10 or 20 steps)

I'm sure i'll get the haters because it won't work for two CMYK colours and blah blah blah ... but the OP asked for 60% on white and this is the quickest method that gives you the exact colour values

So I hope that helps in this case ... and if you want 37% transparency ... seriously choose 35 or 40 because any printing press in the world has 3% tolerance on its ink lay down on the dot so it actually makes no difference ...

and again any haters please don't give me the Heidelberg stats ... on dot screen and ink tolerance ... as your eye cant actually tell the difference either ...

its called practicality ... and real life experience ...

hope it helps ...

oh and colour has a U because i'm from England ... and I used green because that's my favourite colour and favourite has a U in it as well ... :)

Happy designing ...


I tried both of these, but the colour shifted somewhat. I found I got a more accurate (although not 100% accurate) effect by screen-grabbing the image I had and then eyedropping the result.

Will try and avoid using opacity to get colour in the first place in future though.

  • Thanks for the contribution and welcome to GraphicDesign! Let us know if you have any questions – Zach Saucier Mar 6 '15 at 14:22

Tried all the steps above and color still shifts. Found out an easiest way and color is very accurate. Just copy the object into photoshop and find out the CMYK value, there u go!!

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