Color Picker on OS X?

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by Gary King, Feb 14, 2006.

  1. macrumors 6502

    Jun 14, 2004
    I thought there was a Color Picker with OS X? Where is it? Or where can I find one? I use Pixie on Windows; hopefully OS X has an equivalent.
  2. jsw
    Moderator emeritus


    Mar 16, 2004
    Andover, MA
    Try Applications->Utilities->ColorSync Utility.

    Click the Calculator tab.

    Is that what you want?
  3. Administrator

    Doctor Q

    Staff Member

    Sep 19, 2002
    Q Division, Los Angeles
    You also see it in System Preferences -> Appearance -> Highlight Color -> Other...
  4. macrumors member

    Jul 8, 2002
    The Color Picker is basically a 'freebie' for Cocoa programmers, so any Cocoa app that has the ability to change font color probably has a Color Picker. For example, open Text Edit, then select Format->Font->Show Colors, and you'll see the same Color Picker that you get when choosing the highlight color in System Preferences. Click the little magnifying glass, and you'll get a magnifying glass for your cursor that you can use to grab the color of any point on the screen.

    There is also the DigitalColor Meter application (in /Applications/Utilities). Check out the "Hold Color" option in the Color menu.
  5. macrumors 65832

    Aug 2, 2004
    I think what you need is exColor. It utilizes the Colors palette service for Cocoa apps... which is one of the more advance color utilities available on any platform. This one feature alone was a reason for people interested in color to start using NeXT computers in the early 90's (it has stayed pretty much the same in all it's incarnations in NEXTSTEP/OPENSTEP, OpenStep Solaris, Rhapsody and Mac OS X). Definitely one of the hidden treasures of Mac OS X. :D
  6. macrumors 65832

    Aug 2, 2004
    After a quick look at Pixie... your in for a real treat with what you have in Mac OS X. :D
  7. thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jun 14, 2004
    exColor is fairly nice, but I can't type in a hex code to get the color. I tried typing one in (#000000), hitting Return, and it didn't work, for instance.

    Any other suggestions?
  8. macrumors 65832

    Aug 2, 2004
    I guess I hadn't thought about going the other direction before...

    Well, in looking for a solution I actually found something I like better than exColor... HexColorPicker.

    The reason I like it more is that first, it does what you were looking for... you can enter in a hex color code and get a color. And second, it is a plug in for the Colors Palette (it added another icon to the ones across the top) and works within the palette itself.

    On the other hand, that does limit it to mainly Cocoa apps, so exColor may still be of service because it is a stand alone app (and now gives you access to HexColorPicker in the Colors palette without opening up some other Cocoa app first).

    But for me, as I use mainly Cocoa apps to begin with, it is great.
  9. thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jun 14, 2004
    Thanks - one thing, though. I can't type in only 3 characters like you can in HTML to get certain colors.

    For instance, in CSS, color: #000 would mean #000000, but you didn't have to type the whole thing out.

    Unless, there's a way I can enter those 3 character values into HexColorPicker?
  10. macrumors 65832

    Aug 2, 2004
    I was under the impression that the three character code was a direct shorthand for specific colors...

    That is #xyz is shorthand for #xxyyzz... at least that was what I was lead to believe (I haven't spent much time using the shorthand version).
  11. thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jun 14, 2004
    I think you are right; thanks.
  12. macrumors member

    May 13, 2005
    I use the ColorMod Dashboard Widget for general colour picking. Conveniently located nearby at all times and works both ways. Not sure if it does hex shorthand (not on my comp at the moment so I could only test the DHTML version, which didn't), but it does copy the hex value to the clipboard. It doesn't feature an eyedropper tool, but if I ever need that I'm usually using a program that uses the standard Mac color picker anyway, which does.

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