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I used to find color codes which I want to use for texts or background colors on htmls with color edit tool of MS paint which pre-installed on Windows.
But now I use Mac instead of Windows.
How can I find color codes with Mac?
Is an software like MS paint pre-installed on Mac?

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up vote 85 down vote accepted

There is a utility (in Applications/Utilities) called DigitalColor Meter, which shows the color code of whatever you're hovering at the moment. It's a bit more lightweight than Preview. There are also shortcuts for copying the color value as a string (++C) or image (++C).

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And this is far better than the MS Paint option – Nivas Jun 29 '11 at 8:23
thank you very much. this is a really very nice tool than ms paint! i bought my first mac and sold windows only 2 weeks ago. and i miss windows for windows was easy to use for me. i hope there are a lot of better things which i dont know yet on mac. – js_ Jun 29 '11 at 16:39
can i modify(for example, make it brighter or more grayish) picked color with Digital Color Meter? – js_ Jun 29 '11 at 17:40
@js_ FYI, when you mention "make it brighter" or "more grayish" you want to use a HSL color model. Here's an online tool: where you can type in the rgb values from your Digital Color Meter and then adjust Saturation ("greyness") and lightness. – ghoppe Jun 29 '11 at 22:33
@ghoppe Thank you for telling me the nice tool. You're right, I wannna use HSL because windows uses HSL color model and I can easily adjust color with the model. A Combination of Digital Color Meter and seems very easy and quick way to find colors I wanna use. – js_ Jun 30 '11 at 0:30

The Digital Color Meter in /Applications/Utilities/ is the best choice.

enter image description here

Color panel - picker

This picker is almost everywhere enter image description here if you look carefully.

Look closely at font controls and you will likely see wording like Format -> Font -> Show Colors, or Format -> Show colors. (The shortcut is usually ⇧⌘C). You will get the small color panel shown above, where you can click the "magnifying lens" and you can grab the color from anywhere in the screen. for example: TextEdit, Pages, Mail etc... This is a clipboard to save colors, but doesn't report hex values, CIE values or the ITU-R Y'PbPr/Y'CbCr values for the chosen color.

Everywhere when you can show the font panel (usually ⌘T), you can click the "Text color" icon in the font panel and you will get again the "Color panel" (with picker).

You can for example when entering text into textbox here, right click for bring up contextual menu, and go to "Font -> Show colors" directly from the Safari... This works in every application where you can change fonts.

In every application where you can change the color for anything with color field, you can click the border of "color field" and you will get the color panel again. For example -> Preferences -> Settings (color fields for text and Cursor colors)

You can download a some cool color-helper dasboard widgets, like: colourmod or ColorTheory.

You can download a plugin into color panel for hexadecimal color values.

If you find yourself needing the DCM often, you might look at using to create a global "Service" that launches the Digital Color Now you are a few clicks away and can additionally bind this new service to a global hotkey in the System Preferences. The result: running DCM from anywhere, anytime, on a custom key command.

Here are several more things - but lastly: you can also run Windows in VirualBox and use the MsPaint method. /joking/ - be cool. :) :)

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thank you for your answer and edit. i wanna pick a color from screen, modify it, and know its rgb value or color code. the wigets looks nice. but first i wanna try the combination of DCM and color panel to do that. but when i open DCM window, the color panel window disappear. so i cant know rgb value of the color which i picked and modified with color panel. what should i do? by the way, i dont know how to use automator. – js_ Jun 29 '11 at 17:34

I quite like the completely-free app Spot Color. It uses the Mac's built-in color pickers and allows you to grab the color and then use the various sliders and color models to modify it, as you asked about in your followup comment.

Spot Color App screenshot

Since it uses the Mac's color pickers it means you can also use any of the various additional color pickers out on the web, such as:

Hex Color Picker

Spot Color with Hex Color Picer

and Developer Color Picker

Spot Color with Developer Color Picker

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I prefer RCWebColorPicker extiesion, check it here:


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Benefits: easy to copy/paste in or out, smart enough to handle the 3-char form (e.g. turning 39C into the above 3399CC), and accepts lower or upper case. I've been using it for ages, and it still works fine in Mavericks. – Scott Lawton Dec 22 '14 at 23:46

There is an App called Preview pre-installed where you can get the colors from.

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thank you for your information but i couldnt find the way to get the colors with Preview. which command on menu should i execute? – js_ Jun 29 '11 at 16:13
Preview offers a very roundabout way to copy a color, but it still doesn't show hex values. The best it can do without a plug in is turn on annotate, make an annotation on any file that's open in the document, then choose color, then click on the magnifying glass. It like many programs call the API for a color picker / palette manager. – bmike Jun 29 '11 at 16:38
what is annotation? – js_ Jul 1 '11 at 0:57

Here is an HTML document with the named colors...

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I find the Wikipedia page on Web Colors much more useful for obtaining CSS/X11 color names than this answer's linked page. Also useful is this page. – Basil Bourque Jul 25 '14 at 17:22

Try Just Color Picker from

Great app! I have it on both Windows and Mac - works like a charm..

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