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How to Use the Color Sampler Tool in Photoshop CS6

There may come a time when using Adobe Photoshop Creative Suite 6 when you will need to measure color. The Eyedropper’s cousin, the Color Sampler tool, looks like an eyedropper with a small target next to the icon. It also shares the Eyedropper’s flyout menu.

The “Sampler” moniker is kind of misleading because this tool only measures the colors you click. In addition to merely obtaining the numeric value of a color, the Color Sampler tool can monitor changes to your image after you apply color-correction techniques and filters.

Follow these steps to use the Color Sampler tool:

  1. Select the Color Sampler tool in the Tools panel and then click the color you want to measure.

    A target icon, labeled #1, appears on your image.

    Photoshop opens the Info panel automatically and shows you the numeric values for that color.

    [Credit: ©iStockphoto.com/Elpinki Image #1861345]
    Credit: ©iStockphoto.com/Elpinki Image #1861345
  2. Repeat Step 1 up to three more times for a total of four targeted colors.

    Target icons appear for your second, third, and fourth samples.

  3. With the Color Sampler tool, drag the targets to sample new areas of your image, if you want. Delete a target by Alt-clicking (Option-clicking on the Mac) it.

    You can actually measure a fifth color by just moving the Color Sampler cursor around the image. The numeric value appears in the upper portion of the Info panel.

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