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How to Copy a Color in Photoshop

Published: 08/06/2021

The process of enhancing your images is incomplete without the use of varying colors. You might like a specific color from the same or another image that you want to copy on the image that you are currently editing. Learn how to copy a color in Photoshop to use any desired shade on your photos.

How to Copy a Color in Photoshop Using Three Methods

Changing the color of elements on your image or changing the whole image’s color palette is a vital part of image manipulation. Sometimes we want to sample a single color and use it on an image. Or, we might want to use the same colors on multiple images if we intend to use them together in a collage.

To carry out any of these processes, we need to copy the color that we want to use. Copying a color is simpler than fidgeting with the color and swatches panel while trying to match a desired color. Thankfully, Photoshop allows you to copy colors easily and apply them effortlessly to other images.

We will walk you through three commonly used procedures to copy colors in Photoshop and how to use them. Acing these techniques will take your photo editing skills to another level and help you create eye pleasing visuals in the colors of your choice.

Copy Colors Though the Eyedropper Tool

The Eye Dropper tool in Photoshop is an important feature that allows you to pick a color. The color can be chosen from any source, be it the same image, another image, or another application altogether. To sum up, the Eye Dropper equips you with ingenious functionality when it comes to color selection. 

When you copy a color with the Eyedropper tool, it is selected as the foreground color by default. You can then use that color with the Paint Bucket tool, Brush tool, Gradients or the Color Replacement Tool. 

Sample Color from the Same Image

Picking a color already present in your image is extremely easy. 

  1. The first thing you need to do is to open the image in Adobe Photoshop CC.
  2. Make a duplicate layer of your image by selecting it in the Layers panel. Press CTRL + J (Windows) or COMMAND + J (Mac). This step will ensure non destructive editing. 
  3. Let’s suppose you want to copy a color of an object from the image, and paint another object with that color.
  4. From the toolbar on the left hand side, choose the Eyedropper tool. The icon looks like a real eye dropper, so you won’t have any difficulty finding it. The other way to activate the tool is to press I on your keyboard.
  5. From the tool options bar on top, select the sample size. This determines the number of pixels from which the tool will sample the color. 
Using the Eyedropper Tool to sample color in an image
  1. If you want to use the blended color on an area, choose a higher sample size. Choose a lower sample size for the exact color of the pixel. 
  2. Choose the Sampled Layers option accordingly. If you want the eyedropper to copy a color only from the present layer, choose the option of the Current layer. 
  3. Turn on the Caps lock key while using the Eyedropper tool. This will transform the tool into a target that copies color only at the pixel level.
  4. If you want to copy a background color, press and hold the Alt key (Windows) or OPTION key (Mac) while picking up a shade. 
  5. To use the color on any other part of the image, select the Paint Bucket Tool from the toolbar.
  6. Click on the object that you want to color. 

Sample Color from Another Image

Sometimes, we see an image and a particular color in it instantly attracts us. If you have found a desirable shade that you wish to use on other photos, Photoshop makes it possible to copy it. Whenever you want to copy a color from another image, just open the image in Photoshop and use the Eyedropper tool to copy the color.  

Sample Color from Other Applications

The Eyedropper tool comes in handy when it comes to sampling colors from any other source outside Photoshop. Photoshop is undoubtedly the best software for photographers. It takes the phrase out of the box functionality to its literal meaning by allowing us to copy colors from other applications.

  1. Select the Eyedropper tool from the toolbar.
  2. Click on the Restore button to reduce the size of the Photoshop window. 
  3. Open any other application, for instance, a web page on your browser from which you want to copy a color.
  4. Click on the image in Photoshop using the Eyedropper.
  5. Keep the left mouse button pressed and drag the cursor on the source application.
  6. Click on the color in the source.
  7. Maximise the Photoshop window again and use the sampled color wherever you want on your images.

Copy Colors Through the Blend Mode

A straightforward technique to copy the colors of an image and seamlessly blend it onto another image is by using the Gaussian Blur tool and the Layer Blend Modes. The method can be used on instances where colors in an image instantly attract you, and you want to use it on another photo.

  1. Open the source image in Adobe Photoshop CC using File > Open. This is the image that has your desired color palette.
  2. Open the target image as well. 
  3. Make a duplicate layer of the target image’s background to make sure all the editing remains non destructive.
Copying colors using the Blend Mode in Photoshop
  1. Pick the move tool from the toolbar. Go to the source image, and click on the layer containing the image.
  2. Drag it onto the top of the target layer. When the tabs are changed, drop the layer onto the target image in the workspace.
  3. Make sure the source layer that you just copied is selected.
  4. Now go up to the Filter menu. From the Blur submenu, choose the Gaussian Blur tool.
  5. Increase the Radius to a high level. The intention behind this action is to keep the colors while blurring the image to hide its details. Click on OK.
  6. Now with the source layer selected, change the blend mode to Overlay or Soft Light. You can also try and check other blend modes to decide which one looks the best.
Selecting the source layer in an image

Copy Colors Through Match Color Feature

Another fantastic feature to help users copy colors is the Match Color feature. The method is perfect to use on images that you want to put together in the form of collages or to design a coherent social media grid. It will match colors between multiple photos by analyzing the overall color statistics of the source layer or image.

The basic concept behind this functionality is to let Photoshop know that you want the colors of a source image, and it will do the job very effectively.

  1. Open both the target and the source images in Adobe Photoshop CC.
  2. On the target layer tab, make a duplicate layer of the background layer by clicking on the layer and clicking on Duplicate Layer.
  3. Go to the Image menu on top. From the Adjustments option, choose Match Color.
Using the Match Color Feature in Photoshop to copy colors in an image
  1. Once the Match color command opens, choose the source image by clicking on its name in the drop down.
  2. Increase the Luminance and Color intensity sliders until they give the desired effect of brightness and color saturation with the copied colors. 
  3. Keep the Fade slider within 50.
Match Color option in Photoshop
  1. Click OK. 

Conclusion

Adjusting the image using proper colors is the key to completely transform your photos. As the Eyedropper tool and other methods allow you to copy colors easily, you can drastically improve your editing skills. You can create pictures that are worth watching due to the addition of appealing colors that you have sampled from multiple sources.

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