Posts Tagged ‘color’


PaintShop Pro: Find a color value

March 13, 2009

You find this great image and want to find out what colors have been used in it. There are several ways you can go about this — in this post I’ll describe one way to do it in PaintShop Pro X. Other graphics programs will have similar tools to the Eyedropper Tool in PaintShop Pro.

  1. Open the image in PaintShop Pro X.
  2. Zoom in to make it bigger, if applicable — this helps you see the individual colors better.
  3. Click the Eyedropper Tool in the toolbar then move the eyedropper tool over the image.
  4. As you move the eyedropper, a little box displays the RGB color values of the pixel at the tip of the eyedropper.

    The eyedropper tool shows the RGB value of a pixel

    The eyedropper tool shows the RGB value of a pixel

  5. If you click on a pixel, that color is put into the Materials swatch.

    Color swatch

    Color swatch

  6. Click on the swatch and you get more detail about the color —  the RGB values (1 on the image below), the HSL values (2), and the Hex value (HTML field) (3).
Material Properties window showing color values

Material Properties window showing color values

Unfortunately, PaintShop Pro doesn’t display Pantone or CMYK colors, but at least you should have something to work on with the values it does have.


View your website as a color-blind person

June 19, 2008

View your website as a color-blind person views it at:

If you work with PhotoShop, you can also download a free plug-in that allows you to view your graphics as though you had a form of color blindness.

Update 8 July 2008: Richard Rutter shares some of his experiences as his opinions as a color blind web user.

[This article was first published in the December 2006 CyberText Newsletter; link last checked January 2008]


Color code your Windows folders

March 28, 2008

Ever wished you distinguish between those masses of yellow folder icons in Windows Explorer?

If you often move files from one directory or machine to another, it’s easy to get confused as to which is the original folder and which is the destination. Wouldn’t it be great if you could change the color of the original to red (‘don’t touch these’) and the destination to green (‘copy here’)?

Well, now you can with some cheap software from:

You’re not limited to red and green, either! How about pink, purple, orange, black, or white?

[This article was first published in the December 2007 CyberText Newsletter; link last checked January 2008]


Tips for using color

February 11, 2008

I found this on one of the discussion lists I used to subscribe to and kept it as a reminder. Now it’s time to share:

“…speaking as a former designer, the best advice I could give would be to design your flyer in black and white first, then add the color. Inexperienced designers often mistake color for good design, or use color to disguise bad design. Doing good design in black and white first, and then adding color logically and judiciously, will ensure that you don’t make either mistake.

Tips on using color:

  • Color makes things stand out. Therefore, use it for things that you want to stand out: headings, subheads, bullet points, callouts. Or put it behind things you want to stand out: sidebars, reversed-out headings (light text on a dark background). Don’t use it for body text except in special circumstances. Use it to draw your reader’s eye where you want them to go.
  • Use color logically and hierarchically. Every heading at the same level should have the same color. Repeated graphic elements, such as lines, rules, bullets, sidebars, etc. should have similar color treatments. Don’t sprinkle color randomly thoughout your document.
  • Have a color scheme. Choose a limited palette (typically 2-3 dominant colors for a print piece) based on what you want to accomplish with the piece, or based on the mood you want to set. If you want to create an engergetic piece, use bright colors. If you want to create authority, use darker colors. If you want to create a more spiritual feeling, use pale colors and pastels. Use an identifiable color scheme, such as complementary colors (colors on opposite sides of the color wheel) or analogous colors (colors next to each other on the color wheel). For each main color, choose a tint (lighter shade) and shade (darker shade) to use for emphasis, screens, and reverse-outs.
  • Use color judiciously. Don’t color everything in sight; only use color where it actually does something. Unless you’re a visual artist, you don’t need four-color design. It’s more difficult to manage, and one to three colors usually looks more professional.
  • Use light and warm colors to pop; cool and dark colors to recede. This helps draw your reader’s eye to where you want it to go.”

(adapted from a post by Nicole Creed to the InfoGuru Marketing Yahoo Group; Sept 2004)

[This article was first published in the June 2006 CyberText Newsletter]