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 Choose Color Picker drop-down list in the Properties panel

Choosing a color picker.

To select a color model

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

  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.

To select a solid color in the Color Picker

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, do one of the following:

    • From the Favorites (16 color swatches in the upper-right corner), click the color that you want to use. For more swatches, click the button Cc295164.93242986-a86a-41c9-9a1c-3440d2c25d80(en-us,Expression.40).gif in the upper-right corner. This opens the Swatches gallery.

    • Click anywhere inside 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.40).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-right corner of the Color Picker, click the Hex color field and type the color value. Hexadecimal 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 hexadecimal 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 selection, and then click Copy.


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.

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

  1. Select the object that 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.40).png or image fill swatch Cc295164.64ea5fbb-8fd7-45e2-9a42-4a37476a5663(en-us,Expression.40).png.

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

See also

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