Today while using Illustrator CS6 I encountered an issue where I had multiple groups, each containing a set of text and non-text artwork, and when I tried to copy the Appearance from one group to another using the Eyedropper Tool I found that it seems not to be possible.

The fill and stroke colors get sampled, but not the Appearance. It works for non-grouped objects, but not grouped ones. The result is the same in CC 2017.

What workarounds, if any, exist for dealing with this?

Here is a screen shot showing the Appearance of such a group. There is a fill that is offset (note the "fx") to look somewhat like a drop shadow.

Illustrator Group with an Appearance Fill

My Eyedropper Tool settings are set to use all properties:

Eyedropper Tool Settings

More strange findings

With a single (non-grouped) object selected, I tried sampling some grouped items that had their Appearances added before being grouped, and this time the Appearance was copied without the fill, (still despite having all Eyedropper options enabled, as shown in the above screen shot).

Depending on the combinations of grouped and non-grouped objects, and whether the Appearances were added before or after grouping, different results occur. But never do all three (stroke, fill, and secondary fill) get transferred. There is always something missing.

2 Answers 2


I tried and the eyedroper does not work with paths and texts grouped.

Try to use the Graphics Styles panel instead.

Grab and drag the source group object into the Graphics Styles panel and a style will be created that can then be applied to other group objects.

To apply the style to another group object, click on the group object to select it, and then (in the Graphic Styles panel) click on the particular graphic style that you want to apply to it.

See the image below:

enter image description here

  • Thanks so much! This works perfectly. (Sorry it took me over a week to try this out for myself and accept your answer.) Also, I noticed that if trying to drag from the Graphic Styles panel onto the group the style gets applied to an object within the group instead of the whole group - but if you click to select the group and then click on the style in the Graphic Styles panel it gets applied to the whole group. I hope you don't mind if I edit your answer to include this detail to help other readers.
    – Mentalist
    Commented Nov 6, 2017 at 0:47

In the options of the Eyedropper (Doubleclick the Icon) check Appearance and try again. Adobe seems to have changed this preset.

Eyedropper-Options without Appearance checked

Eyedropper-Options with Appearance checked

  • Thanks, but I don't think my eyedropper settings are the problem, because I have all options enabled. I just updated my post with a screen shot to clarify. They look just like yours, except for the language. ;-)
    – Mentalist
    Commented Sep 26, 2017 at 12:28

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