How to Match Colors With the Eyedropper in Microsoft PowerPoint


    An eyedropper in the middle of a color wheel.
    cigdem/Shutterstock.com

    One way to make your presentation attractive is by using colors that complement the purpose or topic. While color palettes are fine tools, you may have a particular color want to match. You can do this with the eyedropper in Microsoft PowerPoint.

    What Is the Eyedropper For?

    Using this nifty tool, you can pinpoint the precise color (and hex code) you need to match various items in your slideshow. Maybe you inserted an image and want to use a color from it for your font. Or maybe your company logo uses a certain shade that you need to match exactly. You can even step outside the bounds of PowerPoint and grab colors visible in other applications!

    RELATED: How to Insert a Picture or Other Object in Microsoft Office

    The eyedropper in PowerPoint works slightly differently on Windows versus Mac. So we’ll walk you through how to use it on both platforms.

    Use the Eyedropper in PowerPoint on Windows

    Start by selecting the item whose color you want to change. This can be the font, a shape, an icon, or a slide background.

    RELATED: How to Draw and Edit a Freeform Shape in Microsoft PowerPoint

    Then, go to the Font Color or Fill Color for the item. If it’s font, go to the Font section of the ribbon on the Home tab. For a shape, go to the Shape Styles section of the ribbon on the Shape Format tab. Or for an object like an icon, go to the Graphics Style section of the ribbon on the Graphics Format tab.

    Click the drop-down arrow for the Font or Fill Color and choose “Eyedropper.”

    Select Eyedropper

    Your cursor will transform into an eyedropper icon with a square attached. Move your cursor to the item with the color you want to match. As you do, you’ll see a preview of the color with its RGB values.

    Color preview with RGB values

    Click when you have the color you want to use. You’ll see the item you selected change to that exact color.

    Font color changed

    You can also use the eyedropper tool to capture a color outside of PowerPoint. Below, we have an image to the right of the application on our desktop that we want to grab a color from.

    Follow the same steps to select the item you want to color, open the fill drop-down box, and select “Eyedropper.” When your cursor changes to the eyedropper, click and hold as you move to the color you want to capture. You’ll also see the preview of the color with its RGB values.

    Capture a color outside of PowerPoint

    And just like that, your item will change to the matching color.

    Shape color changed

    A great feature of the eyedropper tool is that it temporarily saves the colors you capture. This allows you to easily use those matching colors for other items in the same presentation.

    Use the Font or Fill Color drop-down arrow for your item and you’ll see Recent Colors that you can select for those saved colors.

    Recent Colors on Windows

    Keep in mind these colors are only available in the same slideshow.

    Use the Eyedropper in PowerPoint on Mac

    If you use PowerPoint on Mac, you can take advantage of the eyedropper for matching colors there as well.

    Select the item whose color you want to change, whether the font for text, a shape, or another object. Then head to the tab for the item containing its Font or Fill Color option as described earlier. Click the arrow for the drop-down box and pick “More Fill Colors.”

    Select More Fill Colors

    When the small Colors box appears, click the eyedropper icon at the bottom.

    You’ll see your cursor transform into a large, magnified circle.

    Cursor changed to circle on Mac

    Move your cursor to the color you want to capture. As you do, you’ll see the color’s RGB values.

    Color preview with RGB values

    When you see the color you want, click. That color will then appear in the Colors box.

    Click OK to apply the captured color

    Click “OK” to apply that color to your item.

    Shape color changed

    Like on Windows, you can use the eyedropper on Mac to capture a color outside of PowerPoint.

    Follow the same steps to select the item, open the Font or Fill Color drop-down box, and select “More Fill Colors.” Click the eyedropper in the Colors box and when your cursor changes to the circle, hold and move it to the color you want to capture.

    Capture a color outside of PowerPoint

    When the color displays in the Color box, click “OK” to apply it to your item.

    Captured color, click OK

    Also like on Windows, you can view and reuse those captured colors in the same slideshow. Open the Font or Fill Colors drop-down box to see and select one of the Recent Colors.

    Recent Colors on Mac

    Matching a color you need in your presentation to the exact shade is easier than you probably thought! If you’re interested in more ways to improve your slideshows, check out these tips to make the best PowerPoint presentations.





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