using the Enter key with the eyedropper tool to sample colors outside of After Effects
Here’s a tip that may save you a couple of clicks while working in After Effects: when you use the eyedropper tool in After Effects and you want to sample a color that is outside of the After Effects user interface, press the Return or Enter key on your keyboard instead of clicking the mouse button.
The benefit of doing this is that since you don’t use a mouse click, the operating system won’t switch to the application you sampled the color from, and you won’t have to click back into After Effects to continue working.
Pressing the Return or Enter key works on both Windows and Mac OS, whether you’re sampling a color inside or outside of After Effects.
I admit that I didn’t know about this myself until I investigated a related bug report: in After Effects 2014.1 (13.1) on Mac OS only, clicking with the mouse outside of the After Effects user interface does not sample the color, it will only switch you to the other application. We intend to fix this bug in a future release of After Effects, but thought you might want to know about the useful alternative of using the Return or Enter key when sampling colors with the eyedropper tool.