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Photoshop Color Sampler Tool

Before we were treated to the delights of Kuler, Photoshop users were able to find the colour details in an image with the Color Sampler Tool. Now it lays quietly hidden but it really shouldn’t, its a hugely helpful tool.


The Color Sampler Tool lives with the other eyedropper tools, along with the Ruler, Note and Count Tools.


Once selected, your pointer will change to this eyedropper with a target.


The contextual menu has just one option, Sample size. Like the Eye Dropper Tool Photoshop is asking how much surrounding the click point should be analysed.  Point Sample will look only directly under the sample point, pixel perfect, where the others take a look further afield and average out the colour.

Note: The Sample Point it the tip of the eye dropper, not the crosshair.

Now, when you click on the image several things will happen;

  • A Mark will be left on your image, with a consecutive number by it marking where you clicked.
  • Your Info Palette will pop up.
  • Colour details will be numbered and given in your colour space choice. In my case here, RGB.


Changing this to a different colour space is easy enough, just click on the little eyedropper next to the colour details and a drop down menu appears, you can choose from a whole host of other colour spaces.


If you feel that the Sample Point isn’t in the right place, move your eyedropper over the point and your pointer will change. Now you can click and drag the point to a new location. You can create up to four sample points.


A great little tool that can be incredibly helpful.

About Eric Renno (434 Articles)
Eric’s background in video editing with Adobe Premier led to his interest, and then obsession, with Photoshop. Starting TipSquirrel.com as a hobby he is proud to have gathered together and be a part of The Photoshop Nuts. Known as only “TipSquirrel” for two years, Eric ‘went public’ when he was a finalist in The Next Adobe Photoshop Evangelist competition. He’s also been a finalist in Deke’s Techniques Photoshop Challenge. While still taking on some freelance work, Eric has recently become a Lecturer at Peterborough’s Media and Journalism Centre where he enjoys sharing his knowledge as well as learning new skills. This realisation that he loves to teach has made Eric look at altering his career path.

3 Comments on Photoshop Color Sampler Tool

  1. You explained what the color tool is, where to find it, and how to sample a color, which is all pretty basic knowledge. Your opening paragraph states that it is a “hugely” helpful tool.

    I would like to know why?

  2. For me I’m often asked to replicate designs or to add to existing designs using the same colour scheme. Using this tool means that I can pin point the colour I need easily from within a document or a reference file.

  3. Wonderful now how do you delete the cross hairs when all done??

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