Selecting Colors Outside Lightroom Classic


Today’s Question: I have watched several YouTube videos where it is explained how to select colors outside the Lightroom Classic window. You can simply click and hold on the eyedropper, in the color picker, and then drag your mouse over any color on your screen, even those colors outside the Lightroom Classic window. I can’t seem to get this to work on my Mac (macOS 12.3) using the current version of Lightroom Classic (v 11.2). Any suggestions?

Tim’s Quick Answer: Based on your description I suspect you have a permissions issue that is preventing colors from being sampled with the eyedropper outside the Lightroom Classic interface.

More Detail: There are various situations in Lightroom Classic where you will want to select a specific color, such as when adding text to photos when sharing them. In those cases, you can use the eyedropper tool within the color picker to sample a color. While you might assume that the color could only be selected from a photo, you can actually sample a color from anywhere on your screen, including the Lightroom Classic interface or another application or within your operating system.

For Windows users this feature usually works perfectly fine. Simply click within the color picker and hold the mouse button down. Then, still holding the mouse button, drag the eyedropper to the color you want to sample from anywhere on your screen. When the mouse is hovered over that color, release the mouse button and the color will be sampled.

If this behavior isn’t working for you on a Macintosh computer, then a setting in the System Preferences is probably getting in the way.

Start by clicking the Apple logo at the far left of the menu bar and choosing “System Preferences”. In the System Preferences dialog choose “Security & Privacy”. Then go to the Privacy tab and select “Screen Recording” from the list on the left side of the dialog. You’ll then need to click the lock icon at the bottom-left of the dialog and enter your system password to enable changes. Then turn on the checkbox for Lightroom Classic in the list on the right side of the dialog.

You can then close the System Preferences dialog, and at that point you should be able to successfully sample a color with the eyedropper from anywhere on your screen, even outside the Lightroom Classic interface.