Picky, picky, picky about colors

Categories: Color, Editing and Formatting, and PowerPoint 2013.

PowerPoint 2013 introduced a color picker to the interface (finally!), but I keep reading and hearing that you can’t choose colors outside your current slide – for example, that you can’t choose a color from a website.

This is absolutely. not. true. You can use PowerPoint’s color picker to choose colors anywhere on your screen.

To use the color picker in PowerPoint, select the object you want to color, then choose the eyedropper from the fill color, line color or font color dropdown.


Move your mouse to the color you want to use, then click the mouse to pick the color. Pause for a second before clicking and the RGB values will appear in a tooltip.


To choose a color outside the slide workspace, click the eyedropper tool, then press and hold the left mouse button while you drag the mouse to the color. (It helps if you arrange the PowerPoint window and the other window side by side.) Release the mouse to choose the color and apply it to the selected object.



For those of you who aren’t using PowerPoint 2013, or if you need more features than just fill, line and font colors, grab Chirag Dalal’s OfficeOne ProTools Color Picker. It offers more options (e.g., shadow colors, font outline colors, glow colors, etc.) and works in PPT 2007, 2010 and 2013.



  1. Echo Swinford

    Color Cop is a generic color picker. There are a million of these available. The Office One color picker is a PowerPoint add-in and it lets you pick up colors and apply them to objects in PowerPoint so you don’t have to re-enter RGB values. Because of this, it’s more than a basic color picker — it speeds up my PowerPoint workflow tremendously. It’s worth $20 in about 10 minutes.

  2. Lucie Nolette

    Thank you Echo, exactly what I needed this morning for a presentation I was working on. Great tool I love it!

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