January 23, 2008 by Vincent
6 Free On-Screen Color Picker
Photo by Eva the Weaver.
Are there times when you want to know the specific HEX code of a certain color you see online or on your desktop? There are two ways to obtain it, either run Photoshop > Resize the window > Use the Eye Dropper tool > Open the color swatch to see the HEX code OR use one of the free color picker below.
I have downloaded and tried every single one of them. Everything else have been uninstalled or removed after demo-ing except for ColorPic. It’s simply the best.
Out of the 6 free color picker I have tested, ColorPic can be concluded as the best. ColorPic is just slightly more than twice the file size of other color pickers, but it offers way more than any other available free color picker.
There is a magnifier that can be used to determine the color code you are looking for accurately. It is also possible to pick color pixel by pixel using the keyboard arrows. ColorPic doesn’t just capture colors on screen, there is a mixer that you can use to select color.
You can even convert a color that is not websafe to a websafe color by just a button click. The color will be changed to the nearest safe value. View the Getting Started Tips to know more on what ColorPic can do.
If all you need is just a simple color picker with zero feature, WhatColor might suits you. This is the simplest color picker among all the 6 listed here. Just plain text telling the HEX color code the cursor is pointing, not even displaying the color on a larger scale. But the best part is, you don’t even need to install anything. It can be used in just two steps, download and run it.
At only 8Kb, Pixie is a occupy very little screen space while working like a gem. It sits quietly on the screen after you run it, and as you move your cursor, the sample color and color code will be displayed. You can copy the color code by using shortcut keys. There is also a color mixer and magnifier, despite its small file size.
ColorPix is another no-need-install color picker. There is a magnifier as well, that can be used to zoom up to 2800%. As you move your cursor, ColorPix will display the color your cursor is pointing at. Press any key and the color will be locked, and you can click on the color code to copy it by then.
Not something I would recommend. To pick a color, you have to drag the eyedropper. This is definitely tiring, and might even affect accuracy as your hand might not be able to hold the mouse tight while holding the click.
This is something that doesn’t require installation as well. Pressing Alt-X will save the color your cursor is pointing. Magnifying up to 9 times.