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Advanced Eyedropper Options in PowerPoint 2016 for Windows

Explore advanced Eyedropper options in PowerPoint 2016 for Windows.


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Product/Version: PowerPoint 2016 for Windows

OS: Windows 7 and higher






We have already explored the Eyedropper tool in PowerPoint 2016 that lets you sample colors from any object within your PowerPoint slide and use that same color as a fill or outline for a shape. But what do you do if the color you want to use exists on a web page, your desktop wallpaper, or anywhere else? The technique to capture a color from outside PowerPoint is little different.

In this article, we will explore how you can copy a color from somewhere outside PowerPoint and use it as the fill and outline color of a text. Follow these steps to explore more:

  1. Open or create a slide which already has text, as you can see in Figure 1. Our objective is to pick the text fill color from the wallpaper on our desktop. To do so, you need to make sure that your PowerPoint interface is not maximized, so it will be easy to pick the color we need (see Figure 1).

    Slide with text
    Figure 1: Slide with text
  2. Triple-click the text within your text box or placeholder. This will select the entire line of text, and also activate the Drawing Tools Format tab, as shown highlighted in blue within Figure 2.

    Drawing Tools Format contextual tab
    Figure 2: Drawing Tools Format contextual tab

    Note: The Drawing Tools Format tab is a contextual tab. Contextual tabs are special tabs in the Ribbon that are not visible all the time. They make an appearance only when you are working with a particular slide object which can be edited using the options within these tabs.
  3. Within the Drawing Tools Format tab, click the downward pointing arrow on the right side of Text Fill button, as shown highlighted in red within Figure 3.

    Text Fill button
    Figure 3: Text Fill button
  4. This brings up the Text Fill drop-down gallery, as shown in Figure 4. Within the drop-down gallery, select the Eyedropper option (see Figure 4 again).

    Eyedropper option selected
    Figure 4: Eyedropper option selected
  5. As soon as the Eyedropper option is selected, the cursor icon changes to an Eyedropper icon. Note that you can only pick color from within Slide Area. Drag the cursor outside of the slide area, and it disappears. Fortunately there is a workaround: hold the primary button of your mouse and drag the cursor out of PowerPoint interface to the desktop, while the mouse button is still not released, as shown in Figure 5.

    Eyedropper cursor showing live preview of color on desktop
    Figure 5: Eyedropper cursor showing live preview of color on desktop

    Drag your cursor over the color on the desktop which you want to pick as a fill for your text. As you drag your cursor pointer over the color you want to pick you'll see a live preview of the color beneath appears, as you can see highlighted in red within Figure 5.

    Note: Hold your cursor at any position for a while, and you'll also see the RGB (Red, Green, and Blue) color values and name. This is explained further in our Eyedropper Option in PowerPoint 2016 for Windows tutorial.
  6. To apply the selected color as a fill for your text, just release the primary button of your mouse when eyedropper icon is showing preview of that color. This applies the picked color fill to the selected text, as you can see in Figure 6.

    Color applied to text fill from Eyedropper
    Figure 6: Color applied to text fill from Eyedropper
  7. Similarly, you can also apply an outline color to your text. Just click the downward pointing arrow on the right side of Text Outline button (highlighted in blue within Figure 3, above). This will bring up the drop-down gallery you see in Figure 7, below. Note that the same Eyedropper option is available here. Select this option and pick a color from the desktop for the text outline, as you picked for the text fill.

    Text Outline drop-down gallery
    Figure 7: Text Outline drop-down gallery
  8. Figure 8 shows the same slide after we picked up color for text outline. Both the fill and outline colors were picked from the desktop.

    Text with fill and outline colors picked by Eyedropper tool
    Figure 8: Text with fill and outline colors picked by Eyedropper tool
  9. Make sure to save your presentation.

See Also

Advanced Eyedropper Options in PowerPoint 2013 for windows

Pictures in Presentations

Is a picture is worth a thousand words? You probably have heard this adage so often that we decided not to repeat this phrase throughout this book! Now here’s some more info: the human brain uses a larger part of its area to store visual information rather than textual content. And that’s possibly because a picture describes so much more than text.

Go and get a copy of our Pictures in Presentations ebook.


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