6.3. Color Picker

Figure 14.180. The Color Picker in the toolbox (eye dropper icon)

The Color Picker in the toolbox (eye dropper icon)

The Color Picker Tool is used to select a color on any image opened on your screen. By clicking a point on an image, you can change the active color to that which is located under the pointer. By default, the tool works on the active layer, but the Sample Merge option lets you grab the color as it is in the image, resulting of the combination of all layers. Only colors in visible layers are used. An Info window opens when you click on the image.

6.3.1. Activating the Tool

You can get to this tool in several ways :

  • In the image menu through ToolsColor Picker.,

  • by clicking the tool icon in Toolbox,

  • by pressing the O keyboard shortcut,

  • by pressing the Ctrl key while using a paint tool. The Color-picker dialog is not opened during this operation and the tool remains unchanged after releasing the key. Nevertheless, you can get information by using the Pointer window.

6.3.2. Key modifiers (Defaults)


If the pick mode is set to Set foreground color, then pressing the Ctrl key switches the tool into the Set background color mode. If the pick mode is set to Set background color then the key switches the mode to Set foreground color. When the pick mode is Pick only, the key doesn't do anything.


By pressing the Shift key, the Color Picker Information window is opened when you click on a pixel.

[Note] Note

The Pointer Information gives you the same information permanently. But be warned, it defaults to Sample merged.

6.3.3. Options

Figure 14.181. Color Picker Options

Color Picker Options

Normally, tool options are displayed in a window attached under the Toolbox as soon as you activate a tool. If they are not, you can access them from the image menu bar through WindowsDockable WindowsTool Options which opens the option window of the selected tool.

Sample Merged

The Sample Merged check-box when enabled will take color information as a composite from all the visible layers. Further information regarding Sample Merge is available in the glossary entry, Sample Merge.

Sample Average

The Radius slider adjusts the size of the square area that is used to determine an average color for the final selection. When you keep clicking the layer, the mouse pointer shows the size of the square or radius.

Pick Mode
Pick Only

The color of the selected pixel will be shown in an Information Dialog, but not otherwise used.

Set Foreground Color

The Foreground color, as shown in the Toolbox Color Area, will be set to the color of the pixel you click on.

Set Background Color

The Background color, as shown in the Toolbox Color Area, will be set to the color of the pixel you click on.

Add to Palette

When this option box is checked, the picked color is sent to the active color palette. See Palette Editor.

Use info window

When this option is checked, the information window is opened automatically. The Shift key allows you to toggle this possibility temporarily.

Figure 14.182. Color Picker Info Window

Color Picker Info Window