I think there is a bug in the color eyedropper

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I think there is a bug in the color eyedropper

Postby lavardera » Mon Feb 26, 2018 2:28 pm

Perhaps this has been discussed before, but I am having an issue with the eyedropper tool in the color palette. Its strange because this is an OS X standard interface, but its yielding incorrect results for me.

When I work in Pages for instance, and I need to copy the color from an element I have placed in the document - it may be a graphic in a JPG file, or an element which has been drawn in Pages using its simple drawing tools. When I "sniff" the color with the eyedropper I am able to change the color of a second object to match it perfectly.

When I try the same operation in PowerCadd, the color added to the color palette after sniffing the screen with the eyedropper results in a color that is a small shade darker than the screen area that was sniffed.

It should match perfectly, but it does not. Am I doing something wrong?

Attached - upper blue is result from sniffing the lower blue with the eyedropper.
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Screen Shot 2018-02-26 at 1.28.01 PM.png
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Re: I think there is a bug in the color eyedropper

Postby Rob C » Mon Feb 26, 2018 8:47 pm

In theory, I can understand why using the eyedropper from PC to sample something in Photoshop or vice versa would produce different numbers in the color sliders, because PS is color managed, and PC is not. Between PC and another non-color managed application like Pages, I would expect to get the same numbers.

PS lets you choose your color space, and non-color managed apps don't, but, I would think, are just working with whatever your monitor's color space is (chosen in the Displays/Color control panel setting). I think the eyedropper picks up the display value that goes to your screen rather than what you might have thought you chose in the other app. Again, between two apps that aren't color managed, why wouldn't you get the same thing?

ColorSync Utility lets you compare two color spaces. You can see the difference here between AdobeRGB and generic LCD display. 255 (or 100%) green in ARGB (which you can specify in PS) is a lot more green than 100% green in the LCD's display value. I read an entire book on color management, but I still don't completely understand what's happening in non-color managed apps and with the eyedropper tool.
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Screen Shot 2018-02-26 at 7.24.10 PM.png
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Re: I think there is a bug in the color eyedropper

Postby Paul H » Tue Feb 27, 2018 5:26 pm

Yes, I get the same results as you do. The eyedropper does not match what was selected. Close but not a match. As a result I primarily stay with B/W and grays. For what it's worth my screen is also a color calibrated LG 5K.
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Re: I think there is a bug in the color eyedropper

Postby Derek » Sun Mar 04, 2018 11:21 pm

Rob and Paul,

Are you talking about PowerCADD's Eye Dropper Tool or the eye dropper that appears in Apple's Colors window?

I seem to be getting the problem in the latter but PowerCADD's Eye Dropper and WildTools Needle Tool are working ok.

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Screen Shot 2018-03-05 at 2.09.56 pm.png
Screen Shot 2018-03-05 at 2.09.56 pm.png (50.54 KiB) Viewed 6727 times
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Re: I think there is a bug in the color eyedropper

Postby Rob C » Mon Mar 05, 2018 1:09 pm

I figured Greg meant the Apple eyedropper. It samples anything on screen including windows in other applications. I thought I had a clue how it worked, but now I'm not so sure.

With the Apple eyedropper I'm finding the same thing. I sampled a color from the finder as a new color in PC and applied it. Then I sampled that color from the PC window for another new color, and it comes up different. The color keeps drifting with each sample. You can see the difference in the slider numbers for RGB.
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Screen Shot 2018-03-05 at 12.08.22 PM.png
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Re: I think there is a bug in the color eyedropper

Postby Rob C » Mon Mar 05, 2018 1:33 pm

The Digital Color Meter application in the Utilities folder is interesting and helpful at examining colors on screen.

Is there some technical note from Apple how colors are handled by non-color managed applications (which is the vast majority) in Color Sync in MacOSX? I was guessing the working color space would just be you're monitor's color space, but maybe not.

If it isn't, then every time you sample the screen color with the eyedropper, you get a monitor color space value, and then effectively enter those values into the working color space which would be a different color.
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Re: I think there is a bug in the color eyedropper

Postby Derek » Mon Mar 05, 2018 9:00 pm

I think I've found the source of the problem.

For some reason the eyedropper is using the wrong Color Profile and different to the one I have applied to my display. However, if I set my display color to sRGB IEC61966-2.1 (in System Preferences) the eyedropper works correctly. Using any other profile for the display gives me bad results with the eyedropper.
Screen Shot 2018-03-06 at 11.21.25 am.png


Unfortunately trying to set the color profile in the Colors window to match whatever profile I have set for my display (see below) doesn't fix the problem. The profile jumps back to sRGB IEC61966-2.1. This is probably a bug in the OS somewhere and beyond PowerCADD to resolve. I'm seeing the problem in other applications as well.
Screen Shot 2018-03-06 at 11.31.08 am.png
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Re: I think there is a bug in the color eyedropper

Postby Paul H » Tue Mar 06, 2018 7:23 pm

Just ran thru the same exercise and the color profile remains wacky. Close but no cigar.
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Re: I think there is a bug in the color eyedropper

Postby Rob C » Wed Mar 07, 2018 1:43 pm

Interesting. Thanks for pointing out the gear menu. I hadn't really looked at that. I'm on El Capitan and don't see those top items (8 bit, Floating point, etc.), but it does behave as you describe. Change the profile and the numbers will change, but as soon as you use the eye dropper, it switches back to Generic.

Generic and sRGB are close, but not exactly the same.
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Screen Shot 2018-03-07 at 12.37.34 PM.png
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Re: I think there is a bug in the color eyedropper

Postby lavardera » Wed Mar 07, 2018 8:20 pm

Yeah - I am talking about the system level color chooser eyedropper. You all have found the same issue.

I'll try adjusting the color profile as suggested, but sometimes I'm working on the MacBooks screen, sometimes an attached monitor...
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Re: I think there is a bug in the color eyedropper

Postby Rob C » Wed Mar 14, 2018 4:11 pm

lavardera wrote:... but sometimes I'm working on the MacBooks screen, sometimes an attached monitor...

Me too, which always made me wonder what the ruling color space was.
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