Lightroom & Photoshop quick tip: how to pick a color from anywhere on your computer

Aug 5, 2019

Dunja Djudjic

Dunja Djudjic is a multi-talented artist based in Novi Sad, Serbia. With 15 years of experience as a photographer, she specializes in capturing the beauty of nature, travel, and fine art. In addition to her photography, Dunja also expresses her creativity through writing, embroidery, and jewelry making.

Lightroom & Photoshop quick tip: how to pick a color from anywhere on your computer

Aug 5, 2019

Dunja Djudjic

Dunja Djudjic is a multi-talented artist based in Novi Sad, Serbia. With 15 years of experience as a photographer, she specializes in capturing the beauty of nature, travel, and fine art. In addition to her photography, Dunja also expresses her creativity through writing, embroidery, and jewelry making.

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When you’re working in Lightroom, you can add color to all local adjustments by selecting it from a swatch. But did you know that you can pick color from anywhere in the photo? As a matter of fact, you can pick it from anywhere on your computer. In this video, Matt Kloskowski shows you how to do it in Lightroom. It’s a very simple trick, and it also works in Photoshop.

In Lightroom, you can add color to the Brush, Radial Filter or Graduated Filter, and the principle is the same for all three tools. When you apply the local adjustments, click on the Color icon. The swatch will appear which lets you pick any color from it. Click anywhere within the swatch, don’t let the mouse, and move it anywhere on your desktop. You’ll see that the eyedropper is picking the color from outside the swatch. If your screen is split so you can see something other than Lightroom, you can pick a color from there as well.

I was curious to find out whether the same trick works in Photoshop, so I tried it out. And it works! I added a Photo Filter and clicked on the color to select it from the swatch. When I clicked within the swatch and moved the mouse, I was able to select the color from anywhere on my desktop.

Matt’s video was posted on Reddit, and users argue that this is actually a bug. To me, it also looks like a glitch and something that wasn’t supposed to be there. However, as one user writes, “sometimes bugs turn into features.” And even if this is a bug, it can come in handy and find its purpose in image editing.

[Pick Colors from Anywhere in Lightroom via Reddit]

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Dunja Djudjic

Dunja Djudjic

Dunja Djudjic is a multi-talented artist based in Novi Sad, Serbia. With 15 years of experience as a photographer, she specializes in capturing the beauty of nature, travel, and fine art. In addition to her photography, Dunja also expresses her creativity through writing, embroidery, and jewelry making.

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One response to “Lightroom & Photoshop quick tip: how to pick a color from anywhere on your computer”

  1. Markus M. Schmidt Avatar
    Markus M. Schmidt

    Hey, thanks for the helpful tip. It doesn’t work entirely in the split tone swatch. Only for highlights.