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CorelDRAW's Multi-Faceted Eyedropper Tool

© 2005 by Foster D. Coburn III. All Rights Reserved.

There are a number of different ways to get a color from one object into another object. One of the easiest ways to do this is with the Eyedropper tool. But don't be fooled into thinking that all it can do is copy colors from one object to another. With CorelDRAW 12, the Eyedropper has expanded to do a number of different things.

Sampling and Filling with Color

In order to get started, you first need to select the Eyedropper tool (see icons at left) from the toolbox. When you've got it selected, the Property Bar will change to show a variety of options as shown below.

From the drop-down at the left of the Property Bar, choose Sample Color. Next up is the choice of the sample size shown at right. This determines the size of the area being sampled by the eyedropper. If you are working with solid colors, this has no effect. But for objects that have a wide variety of colors, the sample size could be very important.

Now that you have all the settings in place, it is just a matter of clicking on the object from which you want to sample a color. Move the tip of the eyedropper over the color you want and click. The color swatch at the lower left of the screen should change to show the color you sampled.

Once you have a color sampled, it is time to put the color to use. One way to do this is to select the Paintbucket tool from the toolbox. Even quicker is to just hold the Shift key while the Eyedropper is still selected. This switches to the Paintbucket tool so that you don't have to constantly move back and forth to the toolbox to change tools.

While holding the Shift key, move the Paintbucket icon over the object where you want to drop the color. If you are over the outline of the object, the cursor will show a hollow rectangle and will apply the color to the outline if clicked. Otherwise it is a solid rectangle and will be used to fill the object when clicked.

What has been covered so far is how the tool has worked since it was initially included in CorelDRAW. But enhancements have been made since then. One of the coolest enhancements is the ability to select a color from anywhere on your computer screen. For this feature to work, you must not have CorelDRAW maximized and the color you want to select must be visible somewhere on your screen outside of the CorelDRAW window.

As with the first example, make sure that Sample Color is selected in the first drop-down and the Sample size is set to the appropriate amount. Then click the the Select from Desktop button. Move the Eyedropper cursor to the color you wish to select and click as before to capture it. Once again, you should see this color at the bottom right of the CorelDRAW window. Apply it the same way by holding the Shift key and click on the object you wish to fill or outline.

More Than Just a Color

Where the Eyedropper tool used to be limited to just capturing colors, it can now do a lot more. When you select Object Attributes from the left-most drop-down, you get the Property Bar shown at right.

There are three additional drop-downs when Objects Attributes is selected. Clicking on Properties gives you the options shown at left. This gives you the choice of whether you want to capture the outline, the fill or the text attributes. In many ways this is the same as the Copy Attributes feature that has lived in the Edit menu for many versions. Select the options you want to capture by placing a check next to them. By default, they are all selected.

Under Transformations, you get the choices shown at right. You can capture the Size, Rotation and Position of the object selected along with the other attributes previously discussed. By default, none of these options is selected.

The last drop-down is the Effects drop-down as shown at left. Choosing these options allows you to capture the effect settings of an object and copy them to another object. This has been around before as the Copy Effect feature.

While some of these features have been in previous versions, they are now in the same place. And with all the choices, you can copy as much or as little information as possible from an object with the Eyedropper and drop it on a number of other objects with the Paintbucket tool.

Quick Copies

If you are simply wanting to copy a fill or outline from one object to another, I'll leave you with a couple of quick tricks. Right-click and drag an object with the fill you desire over the object you wish to have that fill while holding the Shift key. When you release the mouse, the fill will be copied. If you do the same thing but hold the Alt key instead, the outline will be copied.

In Closing

For those of you with CorelDRAW 12, we went over a number of different things you can do with the Eyedropper tool. Those of you with older versions have one more reason to think about upgrading. In a production environment, the Eyedropper can certainly allow you to be much more productive.

Was this tutorial helpful?

If you need to copy fills or other attributes between objects, you will undoubtedly have found the information in this tutorial useful. It could save you hours and allow you to earn more on your projects. We'd certainly appreciate it if you would make a donation to Graphics Unleashed to support our authors.

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Last Updated Thursday, June 05, 2014.

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