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PowerPoint 2013: Eyedropper

One of the best ways to build a professional-looking presentation is to use a consistent color scheme. Making sure various elements on your slide are the same color ties them together and creates visual unity for your content. With the new PowerPoint 2013, we’ve introduced a handy feature called the Eyedropper that makes matching color a cinch. Plus, not only can you match colors within your presentation but between formats, such as a website and your slides.

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Using Eyedropper to match colors

With the Eyedropper, matching colors takes just a few clicks. For example, to match the fill color of a shape to a specific color in a picture:

  1. On your PowerPoint slide, select a shape that you want to color match.
  2. On the Ribbon, click Drawing Tools.
  3. Click Format, then click Shape Fill.
  4. Click Eyedropper. Move the mouse over the picture and watch the color in the preview window beside the Eyedropper cursor.
  5. Click when you see the desired colour in the preview window to apply it to the shape fill color.


Where to find the Eyedropper

The Eyedropper is included on any dropdown menu that you use to pick a color, for such things as fill, outline, glow, and text color. For example, we can set an object’s glow color by using the Eyedropper from within the color dropdown in the new Format Object Task pane:


Beyond PowerPoint: matching colors across formats (web page, picture, etc.)

Matching the colors of objects on your slide is really useful, but what if you need to match a color on your slide with something in a format external to PowerPoint? Perhaps the color of a logo on your company’s website or the color of a picture in Word? No problem – the new Eyedropper can do that also! To match the color of something outside of PowerPoint:

1. In PowerPoint, click the dropdown menu for the color you wish to set (e.g. fill color, outline, glow, text color).

2. Left-click within the slide and drag your mouse (don’t let go yet!) – and you will be able to move the Eyedropper cursor outside of the PowerPoint window, allowing you access to any color you see on screen.

3. Release the mouse when you have found your desired color to apply that color.


In just a few clicks, you can now ensure that all of your content uses a consistent color scheme – no guesswork or complicated workflows necessary. Try out the Eyedropper, and let us know what you think in the comments section.

Chris Doan
Program Manager, Graphics and Visualizations

Note: Since the Eyedropper requires moving and hovering a cursor, this tool is unavailable in Touch mode. To access the Eyedropper on a Touch device, use a mouse or a stylus to open a color-picker dropdown menu.

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