Beta testers needed for OS X Hex / RGB / HSL Tool

Discussion in 'Web Design and Development' started by CriticalMatter, Sep 29, 2007.

  1. CriticalMatter macrumors newbie

    Sep 29, 2007
    Hello all -

    I've just released a beta version of a Hex / RGB / HSL color picker I've been developing and am looking for feedback from Mac web developers who have use for such a product:

    The only requirement is that you're running Mac OS X 10.4.x. Here's a short blurb about the app:

    Color Picker Pro is a small drag and drop savvy application that aids in finding hex, RGB and HSL color values for use in CSS and HTML production. Pull colors out of application windows, icons, your desktop or anything else that you happen to see on your display. Copy or drag and drop color values to your favorite text based CSS or HTML editing application. Store your frequently used colors, undo and redo color changes or make your colors web-safe at the press of a button. Tailor the format of your hex, RGB or HSL color values to your personal specifications.

    If you'd like to try it out, please do. I'm looking for both positive and negative feedback, suggestions, etc....

  2. Me1000 macrumors 68000


    Jul 15, 2006
    Do you know how much time this would of saved me about 24 hours ago?

    my previous workflow,
    1. cmd+4
    2. select part of the screen to make a screenshot,
    3. open that in photoshop,
    4. use the eyedropper tool to get the color!

    this is exactly what I want!

    THANK YOU!!!!!!!!!!
  3. rajfantastic macrumors member


    Jun 9, 2007
  4. HexMonkey Administrator


    Staff Member

    Feb 5, 2004
    New Zealand
    Overall it looks quite useful. Here's some things I noted:

    • It was unclear to me that certain actions would result in the color being copied to the clipboard automatically. This could be annoying if I already had something on the clipboard that I didn't want replaced. The distinction between the copy color and live color was also unclear until I played around with them for a while. Initially I expected certain actions (such as copy and setting the desktop) to use the copy color since the color was more predictable.
    • I like that I can change the zoom using my scroll wheel. It might also be useful to be able to change it by clicking on the zoom level at the bottom right of the zoom area.
    • Tooltips or text labels could be useful for some of the buttons. Even with icons (which I see are on your to do list), it could be confusing what they do before using them.
    • The documentation mentions that you can set the desktop to the current color using command-D. Since most people will never read the documentation, this should be a menu item; that would at least provide a place that shows what the shortcut is.
    • It took me a few seconds to realise what the number for the "Disable below" settings in the Magnification pane of the preferences meant. Rewording them might help.
    • In the Formatting pane in the preferences, the different formatting types each have a "Display default format" checkbox and a "Default format" radio button. These appear to have the same function, and should not both be there.
    • I found it annoying that my custom format changes were reverted when I chose "Default format".
    • When dragging a color to the copy color box, it isn't copied to the clipboard.
    • If you lock the image while the mouse is over the text label of the live color, then the program usually gets into an infinite loop changing colors.
    • The steppers next to the "Disable below" settings in the preferences don't work.
    • Changing the zoom using two-finger trackpad scrolling on my MacBook made it go towards 1x no matter which direction I scrolled in. It worked properly using a scroll wheel.
    • A floating window option might be useful.
  5. CriticalMatter thread starter macrumors newbie

    Sep 29, 2007
    Thank you very much for the feedback!

    I initially had thought that a separate key combination APPLE+SHIFT+C should possibly be used to "capture" a color and place it in the copy color area and that APPLE+C should only ever copy what was in the copy color area. But then when using the app personally, I found it a bit annoying that I couldn't just hit APPLE+C to copy a live color right there and then. So I'm in 2 minds about it!


    I do plan on adding Tooltips along with proper application help before it's officially released.

    That is also on the to-do list! There will be a "Color" menu in the next release.

    OK. Would "Do not display" be more clear in your opinion?

    The "Display default format" checkbox ensures that the color value shown in the *app* is the default format... While still using your custom format for the purposes of copying. Obviously that is not entirely clear!

    Ah... That's a bug.

    I didn't want to automatically put the copy color on the clipboard in every instance that it changes... As you point out above, that would be annoying. I can see however that while the copy / live color behavior is "learnable" from a user perspective, it may not be intuitive enough.

    These sorts of loops are kind of par for the course if you're copying the color value of anything that's changing as a result of your magnification.

    Those were a late edition to the last release. I simply haven't hooked them up. I also debate whether they'd add anything to the application even if they were functioning.

    Interesting! I will have to find a laptop and see what's up with that.

    You mean above other apps I presume?

    Thanks again for the feedback. It's incredibly useful. Anyone else who would like to add their thoughts, please do.
  6. HexMonkey Administrator


    Staff Member

    Feb 5, 2004
    New Zealand
    "Disable below" was clear enough, it was more the meaning of the number that was unclear. Perhaps something along the lines of "Disable below zoom: [8]x" would be clearer.

    Ah, I see now. I struggle to see a use case where you'd want to use a different format when displaying the color and when copying it to the clipboard. To me the added complexity to the interface outweighs the benefit of having the functionality, and it would be worth considering removing the option.

    I interpreted "copy color" to mean the color that had just been copied to the clipboard; since most actions that change it copy the color to the clipboard, I expected this behaviour to be consistent. The current behaviour also creates a case where you can set the copy color, but can't then put it on the clipboard since copy copies the live color.

  7. Me1000 macrumors 68000


    Jul 15, 2006
  8. CriticalMatter thread starter macrumors newbie

    Sep 29, 2007
    I have had a few users state that they like to use really long formats like:

    em { color: rgb(100%, 0%, 0%) }

    which would not lend itself to being displayed in the display area. That's how that particular option was born.

    I agree that the previous copy behavior was too confusing, inconsistent and un-Mac-like. The latest beta version addresses that. APPLE+X captures the live color and APPLE+C copies whatever is in the copy color area to the clipboard. Nothing is ever automatically put on the clipboard. I suppose you can now think of the copy color as the color that *will* be copied to the clipboard vs. the color that *was* copied to the clipboard.

    Hooked them up.

    Fixed. Thank you very much for finding that bug. My old Powerbook doesn't have trackpad scrolling unfortunately.


    New menu added that addresses this issue.

    The latest beta release can be downloaded at:

    Thanks again to those who have tried the beta and provided feedback!
  9. defsquad macrumors regular

    Oct 28, 2006
    birmingham, alabama
    Wow, I am so pumped about this. I had been using various pickers for this vary use, namely the built in color picker "app", also using colorzilla within firefox, or using the photoshop color picker "hack", but this looks like the ultimate combo of all 3. It reminds me of the app I use in windows called Pixie by Nattyware (

    I can't wait to try this out when I get home today.
  10. defsquad macrumors regular

    Oct 28, 2006
    birmingham, alabama
    Finally got a chance to play with this. I like it very much overall, for quick color picking use, with the exception of no multi-monitor support.

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