I'm using the MacOS app "Digital Color Meter" to get the RGB values from different websites. Now I want to use those colors in a Word document which I'll export to PDF. I want the colors to look exactly the same on the PDF document as it looks on the website.
The Problem is, that The Digital Color Meter app can show 5 different types of RGB values and I don't understand what's the difference. The values are named "native values", "sRGB", "P3", "Generic RGB" and "Adobe RGB". Does anyone know, which of these I would have to use, to achieve the same color in a PDF document generated by Microsoft word?

2 Answers 2


I believe it is sRGB.

AFAICS what counts in this case is this: when you point the Mac OS Digital Color Meter at a block of colour in Mac OS Word, which of the colour spaces available from the Meter dropdown contains the same numbers as you get when you use the Word Color picker.

e.g. Insert a Shape into Word, then then use the Shape Format tab->Shape Fill dropdown to select a fill.

Then go back inot the dialog and pick More Fill Colors...

Select the icon at the top that looks like a set of sliders (it's the second from the. left, here). Then select RGB Sliders in the dropdown.

That shows you the RGB values that Word is using for its fill.

Now point the Digital Color Meter at the same fill, select each of the "Display" options in turn, and compare the numbers you see there with the ones you saw in Word.

Here, only the sRGB option matches.

After seeing some of the other comments it looks like my explanation is too simplistic. I've also been wondering whether the DCM is basically "getting in the way". Word represents its colors internally as RGB colors (AFAIK). PostScript (PS) and PDF can use different colorspaces within a single document. As an experiment I set up a couple of similar swatches in Word (1 number different in the "R" part of the RGB color) and saved the document as a PostScript file.

In that file, the RGB values 244, 176, 131 are represented by 3 numbers like this: 0.95686269 0.6901961 0.51372552

Multiplied up by 255 that gives me (approx.)

243.99998595 176.0000055 131.0000076

which suggests that the values are essentially the same as the ones stored in Word. But that could be just another coincidence.

Because I don't know PS it is not obvious to me from the rest of the PS code what colorspace this is associated with - if any. Either it's a "default" colorspace that does not appear to be named inside the PS, or it's something else.

  • This makes sense, too. I‘ll gibe this a try on friday and then come back to you
    – Max
    Jul 1, 2020 at 20:53

sRGB seems to work well when trying to replicate an on-screen color in another app. That's my conclusion after some trial and error, even when the Color profile of my display is setup to a completely different option, so your display settings seem to be irrelevant.

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