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Use the Colour Picker's magnifying glass to grab any colour System
Not sure if anyone else had ever noticed this, but last night when I was in the Colour Picker while working in Graphic Converter, I accidentally clicked on the little magnifying glass along the top, which then gave me an enlarged magnifying glass that allowed me to grab a colour from anywhere on my screen, regardless of what application the colour was in. And, as the Colour Picker is the same throughout most applications, I would assume that this would carry over as well.

My only wish is that Apple would build hex colour codes into the colour picker (like in Photoshop), to make it easier to work on web design.

[robg adds: I honestly didn't think to click on the magnifying glass until reading this hint ... so while many of you may consider it obvious, hopefully it's news to someone other than me!]
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Use the Colour Picker's magnifying glass to grab any colour | 8 comments | Create New Account
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DigitalcoloUr Meter
Authored by: jeb on May 09, '03 10:33:22AM
In /Applications/Utilities, you should have Digitalcolor Meter. This also shows a "magnifying glass" that lets you pick out a color on the screen and will report the results in these formats:
  • RGB as Percentage
  • RGBas Actual Value 8-bit or 16-bit
  • RBG as Hex 8-bit or 16-bit (ta-DAH!)
  • CIE 1931, CIE 1976, CIE L*a*B
  • Tristimulus

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DigitalcoloUr Meter
Authored by: beanboyrjs on May 09, '03 12:09:37PM

I'm glad to know about this, but wouldn't it make more sense if Apple would just put it back in the color picker? Didn't they do this in OS9?

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learned this last week
Authored by: cello on May 09, '03 11:27:07AM

I realized this last week and thought, I was the last one to
stumbe over this feature - so I wasn't ;-)

Why has apple so many undocumented goodies?

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Use the Colour Picker's magnifying glass to grab any colour
Authored by: jeroeng on May 09, '03 01:01:27PM

You might know that MacOS X is a further development of the
NeXTSTEP operating system, which I have used as my preferred
OS till very recently (now a nice OS X mac is standing before
me :-) ). There exist loads of handbooks on general NeXTSTEP
GUI and applications, that you might be able to find in places
like 2nd hand bookstores, or eBay and the likes. About 90% of
all documentation is still valid for MacOS X, and extremely

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Hex Colors Available
Authored by: CyborgSam on May 09, '03 03:55:06PM

I got a Hex (Web) color picker from somewhere, but can't remember and can't google it... The file name is: HTML (HEX codes).clr, it gives the web safe values in the Color Picker.

Another alternative is the shareware:

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Web Safe Colors Palette Already Built In
Authored by: xsocam on May 09, '03 05:28:59PM

Show Colors from any application that offers the option. One of
the tiny icons across the top looks like 3 square palettes with 4
colors each. Click on this icon and from the pulldown menu that
appears, select "Web Safe Colors". There is the whole list, each
labeled with its HTML standard hex code. This option was not
available originally Jaguar, but showed up after one of the
updates (I can't remember which one, though).

Hope that helps!

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Activate ColorPicker outside of apps
Authored by: jspivack on May 12, '03 01:13:43PM

You can use exColor (get it from VersionTracker) to activate the ColorPicker from apps that don't support it. It's great, and it gives hex codes

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Use the Colour Picker's magnifying glass to grab any colour
Authored by: nevyn on May 12, '03 05:21:17PM

You could do this back in the Classic days by holding the alt/opt key and clicking anywhere on the screen. But since it is not a frontmost-only dialog in X, they had to use the magnifying glass...

I was devastated when I noticed that alt-clicking didn't work anymore, because this is really a *killer feature*. Try it, it's GREAT! For example, if you use several colors in TextEdit, you can just use the glass over some written text, click on it (but be sure to hit a fully colored pixel, and not an antialiased one), and boom, you're writing with the selected color!

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