If select a color from Eyedropper tool and try to put it in stroke of any object, then it doesn't fills up in it's stroke instead it fills the whole object not the stroke. Eg say its a circle which is not filled but have only stroke on it. So, when I try to pick a colour from Eyedropper tool then it doesn't fill up on stroke of circle instead it fills the whole circle. So I have to note down the colour code value and write manually each value. Is there any time saving process in this???

5 Answers 5


Double-Click the Eyedropper Tool and adjust what it picks up and what it applies....

enter image description here

  • 4
    HO. LY. CRAP. Another secret feature I never knew existed! Thanks, @scott!
    – Vicki
    Sep 2, 2015 at 22:04
  • It's there @Vicki but it often suffers from the "why they heck is it doing that" feature in Illustrator :)
    – Scott
    Sep 2, 2015 at 22:14
  • I just spent 5 minutes double-clicking on every tool in the Tools panel with my jaw on the floor. I am flabbergasted. Thanks again!
    – Vicki
    Sep 2, 2015 at 22:33
  • @Scott. Thanks for the info of the hidden adjustment option of Eyedropper Tool. I tried on with different options but there is no change. In-fact, what I observed is that one object having only stroke and no fill, on this object if we are applying colour from another filled object with no stroke. then the eye dropper is filling the whole object and not the stroke of the first object. Will it be like this only???
    – Designmate
    Sep 3, 2015 at 5:14
  • You can't puck up a fill from one object and apply it to the stroke of another object. Fills apply fills, strokes apply strokes. If you need common colors, use swatches. Global Swatches may be the best option. @Vicki should undelete her answer.
    – Scott
    Sep 3, 2015 at 5:28

You can make the stroke color active (X HOTKEY), then activate the picker (I HOTKEY), and shift click anywhere to grab color for your stroke.

  • 1
    Please what is the difference to the answer of @vicki? Please explain better, for example by adding screenshots ... Welcome to GD.SE!
    – Mensch
    Dec 24, 2016 at 17:03
  • It wasn't apparent to me until after a second read if izypizy 's post. The major difference in izypizy's answer is using the SHIFT+CLICK. - SELECT the element to be modified, make sure that stroke color is active. - SHIFT+CLICK the color* of that you want to sample. *Specifically said 'color' rather than 'element' or 'object' to denote that the eyedropper is now sampling the visible color (think raster-based image) and not referencing the selected 'stroke' color.
    – holler
    Mar 16, 2017 at 14:08

Unfortunately, if you are sampling another vector object in Illustrator, the eyedropper tool isn't just copying the color value, it's copying the object's complete fill and stroke data. Your selected object will take on the sampled object's fill and stroke.

If it's a color you are using a lot in your project, you can try creating a new swatch and use that to apply to your strokes.

Create a new swatch:

enter image description here

Select the object you want to change the stroke color of. Click on the little "stroke" color picker in the top left corner of the Swatches palette:

enter image description here

Click on your new swatch to apply the color to the stroke:

enter image description here enter image description here


One way to achieve what you are looking to do is clicking all of the strokes you want to change the color of and then clicking the Eye Dropper Tool, I as usual. Once the fill color has changed, click Shift + X to reverse the stroke and fill color. If you have no fill and a stroke color desired, this will work great. This is for instances, so may not work for every application.

  • Killed my arrowheads but a small price to pay for simplicity!
    – cxrodgers
    May 15, 2020 at 18:22

The simplest way to only copy one color from an object to another without modifying all the properties is to drag the color from the color panel and drop it over the object we want to apply the color to.

I've made this little video showing the process.

Configuring the eye dropper every time, or working with swatches for such a simple task is slow and tedious.

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