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How to Extract Colours from Photographs with Adobe Colour

18th February 2024

Jacob Woolcock


In this video, I guide you through an innovative approach to enhancing your Keynote presentations by extracting and utilising real-world colours from photographs, using Adobe Colour. I’ll demonstrate how to seamlessly integrate these colours into your presentation for a more thematic and visually appealing experience. Discover the simplicity and effectiveness of Adobe Colour in bringing your creative ideas to life, with practical steps and tips for users of all levels.

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So, I’ve got this Keynote project on the go, and it’s all about my field trip to NASA, or rather my visit to Legoland to look at a pretend version of this. Anyway, that’s beside the point. I want to make this look a little exciting by using some colours from that actual photograph to really bring the presentation to life and make it feel more themed. Now, we can extract colours using the Keynote Colour Picker, but it’s a little bit fiddly and actually, there’s a much better way. I’m simply going to go into Safari, and in the search bar, I’m going to type “Adobe Colour”. You could go to, but it works just the same.

Now, from here, you can tap at the top to extract the colours from an image, and then in the middle of the screen where it says “Tap here” in tiny writing, you can select your photo from the photo library. Now, this picture of NASA is actually saved in my photo album, and I can upload it just like this. Now, as soon as you’ve done that, you’re going to notice that Adobe Colour has actually put five coloured circles around your picture, each one extracting a different colour from that image. Now, the way it works is really clever. It doesn’t just choose the exact pixel colour it’s on; it looks at the nearby pixels and gets an average of that colour. That means it’s a much more realistic version of the colour than just picking the exact pixel, like you might do in Keynote.

Of course, if you’re not happy with some of these colours, you can actually rearrange them as well, and Adobe Colour will pull a new colour from wherever you position it on the page. So, I’m going to move that around and choose a better shade, like this one here. Now, as I scroll down the page, I get those five extracted colours and, underneath, a little tiny code for each one. This is a six-digit hex code, and this is really useful to bring into other applications to make sure you’ve got the exact colour later on.

For example, if you tap the link in the top corner, you can see how Sketches Cool can import that hex code, so you can use the exact colour you want in the Sketches Cool drawing app. But anyway, I’m going to take a screenshot of this whole page and I’m going to crop it down slightly, so I’ve got part of the image and the five colours and the five hex codes at the bottom. I want to keep part of that image, so I know where these colours have come from, and when I save it back to the Photos app, I can use that later. When it’s done and saved to Photos, I’m going to jump back into Keynote now and have a look at that presentation we started earlier. I’m going to import my new screenshot with those five coloured blocks, and then when I go onto my title, I can tap the format paintbrush, go to text colour, go onto the colour grid, and slide sideways to get the Colour Picker at the bottom. Four longer steps, but don’t worry, it’s quite simple. When you tap on the Colour Picker, all you’re going to do is drag your finger across one of those five colour blocks from earlier, and that will use that exact same colour as my text colour.

You’re probably thinking, “But hang on, can’t I just use that Colour Picker on my photo straight in Keynote?” And yeah, of course, you can; nothing’s stopping you. But if I try that now, can you see how it’s choosing very strange variations of the colour that I’m on? It’s not just choosing that lovely dark shade; it’s choosing all sorts of slightly weird, pixelated versions. That’s where Adobe Colour comes in because it gets the average colour for that part of your picture, and that guarantees that the colour you use on your document in Keynote, or whatever else, represents the image you’ve chosen. So, now I’ve themed my presentation to match that photograph, and it was really simple.

If you want more tips to help you make the most of your iPad, please do subscribe to my channel down below. There are tons more pieces of advice there to help you make the most of that device. There are tons more tips just waiting for you there.

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