Color Picker

By on July 26, 2004

Switch ScreenshotI love IrfanView. It’s a fast, lightweight little image viewer that’s extremely capable for basic tasks, (that is, anything I don’t want to bother starting up Photoshop for). But the one feature it doesn’t have is the ability to click a spot on an image and get the HTML color value. Photoshop does this, but instead of just giving you the color (i.e. #CCBB00), it gives you a color attribute (i.e. COLOR=”#CCBB00”). That was fine in 1998, but these days we’re pasting those color values into stylesheets, not font tags (you ARE, right? RIGHT?), so you have to edit the color after you paste it. There are a number of little tossed-together color pickers on the web, but most of them have some annoyance or fatal flaw that makes them more trouble than they’re worth.

Today I stumbled across Switch, which is a great little color picker tool. It’s small, doesn’t seem to crash, and it includes a little zoom window to help you hit the exact pixel you’re looking for. It’s even skinnable, but why anyone would spend their time re-skinning a color picker utility is beyond me.

Anyone have any favorite tools for sampling colors, or other web dev related tasks?



  1. Owen: I had forgotten that IrFan would do that. If only you could copy the value! They should make it that a ctrl-c while the title bar is displaying the HTML color would copy the color value as text to the clipboard.

  2. I tried a bunch. HTMLcolor is the one I stuck with. It will put the color in the format of your choice or the xy coordinates in the clipboard. It has a maginfier area. It also has a color bank to save and reuse colors you find. No install, tiny exe file.

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