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The Eyedropper and Measure Tools in Adobe InDesign

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The Eyedropper Tool - Copy Colors
Eyedropper and Measure Tools

The Eyedropper Tool has a flyout menu to access the Measure Tool

Image by J. Bear
By default InDesign will show you the Eyedropper Tool in the Tools Palette. However you will see that tool as another tool hidden in its flyout -- The Measure Tool.

Especially if you have used Photoshop, you know that with the Eyedropper Tool you can sample and copy colours so that you can apply them to various objects.

In InDesign the Eyedropper Tool does much more than that: it can copy character attributes, stroke, fills, etc. Double click on the Eyedropper Tool to see a list of things that eyedropper can copy.

If you have never used Photoshop or other desktop publishing programs before, you might not be familiar with Eyedropper at all. Let's take a closer look.

  1. Set your colours to default (press D).
  2. Draw two rectangles and apply a colour for fill and stroke to one rectangle.
  3. Go to the Control Palette and make the stroke 4pt thick.
  4. Leave the other box untouched.
  5. Click on your Eyedropper Tool. Your mouse cursor will change into an empty eyedropper.
  6. Click on the rectangle where you applied colour and stroke attributes in step 2 Your eyedropper icon will convert to a loaded eyedropper.
  7. Click on the rectangle with no colour. It should now have the same attributes of the other rectangle.

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