Color Picker

To apply a color to any object, use the Color Picker. You can find it in the Properties panel, at the top of the Appearance category.

The Color Picker changes, depending on the color model you pick.

To select a color model

  1. In the Properties panel, in the Appearance category, on the right side of the Color Picker, click any slider label (such as the B in RGB).

  2. In the Choose Color Picker list, select a color model from HLS, HSB, RGB, or CMYK.

For details about the HLS, HSB, RGB, and CMYK color models, see Color models.

The Choose Color Picker drop-down list in the Properties panel


When you have chosen a color model, you can select a fill or stroke. To do this, you can select from a range of preset custom colors or create your own custom colors.

To select a solid color in the Color Picker

  • To select a solid color, do one of the following:

    • From the Favorites (16 color swatches in the upper-right corner), click the color you want to use. For more swatches, click the button Cc295164.93242986-a86a-41c9-9a1c-3440d2c25d80(en-us,Expression.30).gif in the upper-right corner. This opens the Swatches gallery.

    • Click in the large rectangle. To select a hue for the color rectangle, click anywhere in the color bar along the right side of the rectangle. The current hue is highlighted with a small white circle.

    • Drag or click one or more of the color sliders to the right of the hue bar. These will be listed as RGB or whatever color mode you have chosen. This option is often best when you want to make very small and precise adjustments to a color.

    • Click the Color Dropper Cc295164.c4f12703-8b2c-4891-9121-d5cb0f1e72cd(en-us,Expression.30).png tool immediately underneath the hue bar, and then click any color on your screen. The color you select will depend on the current settings for the Color Dropper. For more information about how to adjust these settings, see General options.

    • In the lower corner of the Color Picker, click the Hex color field and type the color value. Hex color values (sometimes named HTML colors) are always six characters long, each ranging from 0-9 or A-F. For example, pure white is #FFFFFF, pure black is #000000, and bright red is #FF0000. Although Hex numbers always begin with a number sign (#), you do not have to type this character. If you have to use this value in another program, select the number, right-click the field, and then click Copy.

This RGB color is also defined as a hexadecimal color in the Hex color field


When you select an object and change its color, the Color Picker displays both the initial color and the current color in the lower-left corner of the Color Picker.

To return to your original color choice

  • Click the Initial Color swatch under the large rectangle in the Color Picker.

You can also use the Color Picker to apply the last-used gradient fill or stroke.

To apply the last gradient or image to a fill or stroke

  1. Select the object you want to change.

  2. Click the Stroke tab or the Fill tab.

  3. Click the last-used gradient swatch Cc295164.d613ce1f-4e4d-43b8-b5a4-19771e9fa014(en-us,Expression.30).png or image fill swatch Cc295164.64ea5fbb-8fd7-45e2-9a42-4a37476a5663(en-us,Expression.30).png.

When you apply either a gradient or image fill or stroke, the Color Picker changes accordingly.

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