108

How can I pick a color from an image?

When I move the cursor to any particular point in the image, I want the hex code of the color at the cursor to be displayed. I would like to be able to do that with anything displayed on the screen even if it is not an Image, say I am working on any Windows application having various colors.

Is there a way to do that?

2
  • 2
    I found that many of the available color pickers didn't work well with Windows 10 and high dpi, so I made my own tool: github.com/Bluegrams/Colora
    – alxnull
    Apr 14, 2019 at 21:45
  • With the new EyeDropper API for Browsers.. You can pick colors directly from your browser anywhere on your screen: pickcoloronline.com Aug 24 at 13:15

12 Answers 12

136

In Windows, there is an easier way that doesn't need any software.

  1. Capture the screen in an image file (use something like the Snipping Tool to grab the desired area)
  2. Open the file with MS Paint
  3. Use Paint's pick color and pick the color
  4. Press "Edit Colors" button
  5. You have the RGB values!
8
  • 11
    As far as I'm concerned, this is the best solution listed, since it is universal and doesn't require installing any new software.
    – Tripartio
    Oct 19, 2015 at 14:34
  • 21
    Slow and tedious. We just need a quick color picker...
    – Pere
    Jul 20, 2016 at 8:19
  • 5
    .. and if the MS Paint can show and the hex color. :) Sep 12, 2016 at 12:24
  • 4
    @Ochado As far as I'm concerned, this is not the best solution listed, since it is tedious, slow and doesn't use versatile available handy software. Sep 3, 2017 at 12:46
  • 3
    Wait, Windows' default software isn't versatile or handy?
    – Aaron Hall
    Sep 13, 2017 at 15:03
66

Newer alternative

See Richie Bendall's answer about PowerToys' Color Picker. PowerToys includes multiple useful utilities as well!


Original suggestion

Instant Eyedropper is exactly what you were searching for.

How it works

  1. Move the mouse pointer to the Instant Eyedropper icon in the system tray.
    Instant Eyedropper system tray icon
  2. Press and hold the left mouse button and move the mouse pointer to the pixel whose color you want to identify.
    Instant Eyedropper color picker tool
  3. Release the mouse button.

That's it. The clipboard now contains the color code - in HTML format (or any other format that you have previously specified). It can be pasted and used in any text or HTML editor or the Color Picker tool of Photoshop.

It comes with all the options that I personally wanted of such tool.

  • Clipboard color pattern (Hex, and others)
  • Startup on system tray
  • No overhead or ads and it's free.

Instant Eyedropper options panel

Works on windows XP, vista, 7, 8, 10 and probably beyond that.


Clarification on values returned by the HSB option

Note that HSB format gives standard values, which are:

  • Hue: 0-359 degrees
  • Saturation: 0-100%
  • Brightness: 0-100%

Some tools like Paint on windows will give slightly different values:

  • Hue: 0-239
  • Saturation: 0-240
  • Luminance: 0-240

The reasoning is explained on the windows blog.

The theoretical range for Hue is an angle, normalized to be greater than or equal to 0° and strictly less than 360°. The upper value of the range is not reached because Hue is cyclical, so a value of 360° is equivalent to 0°. On the other hand, Saturation and Luminance are floating point values between 0.0 and 1.0 (inclusive).

In Windows, the Hue, Saturation, and Luminance ranges are rescaled so that they go from 0 to 240. Hue is endpoint-exclusive (because 360° = 0°) whereas Saturation and Luminance are endpoint-inclusive (because 1.0 is achievable).

If you want to use Eyedropper on windows with a tool like Paint, you can do the math with the ratios explained above, or just use the RGB value whenever possible.


I found this tool years ago and still use it from time to time. I'm not its developer nor am I affiliated with the developer. If it doesn't fit your specific needs or if you'd like to see a new feature, contact the dev himself on his website.

19
  • doesn't work on windows 10
    – shoosh
    Jun 28, 2018 at 20:29
  • @shoosh the question is tagged windows 7 and XP, it's an old question from 2011. Jun 28, 2018 at 20:35
  • 2
    This works fantastic and allows keyboard shortcuts to activate. Great time saver!
    – SomeGuy
    Nov 21, 2018 at 21:48
  • 1
    The issue with "4K monitors" is probably really "issue with scaled monitors on Window 10". I have a 1920*1080 14" laptop + 2 x 1920 * 1080 24 inch monitors. It works fine on the 24 inch @100%, but loses track on the inbuilt monitor @ 150% scale
    – Gerry Coll
    Sep 17, 2019 at 0:53
  • 1
    @OS the single dev behind commented: "Unfortunately I don't have time for now to solve issues, make upgrades, send to re-check or buy ssl cert for exe files. It's a hobby project." So some antiviruses may treat it as a threat but it's really just not up to date. Jan 11, 2020 at 19:14
18

If the image can be rendered in a browser, most of them have built-in color pickers / eyedroppers:

  • Chrome - DevTools (F12) -> Elements -> Styles -> click any color preview box enter image description here
  • FireFox - Same as Chrome or Hamburger menu -> Web Developer -> Eyedropper enter image description here
  • Internet Explorer - DevTools (F12) -> DOM Explorer -> Ctrl+K -> Enable ink dropper mode (left most button)
0
7

Features I liked about Just Color Picker:

  • It's free.
  • It's portable (no installation is needed).
  • Supports many color formats (HTML, RGB, HEX, HSB/HSV, HSL, CMYK and Delphi).
  • Has hotkey and autocopy options.

enter image description here

1
  • Not working well on W7 Mar 28, 2019 at 13:44
3

PicPick is nice:

It is an all-in-one program that provides full-featured screen capture tool, intuitive image editor, color picker, color palette, pixel ruler, protractor, crosshair and even whiteboard.

2
  • 9
    FYI - its not free or open source Jan 23, 2017 at 8:11
  • 1
    PicPick does have a free version, which is only for personal use, and does not auto-update. Apart from that it is the same as the paid version.
    – CalvT
    Jul 19, 2018 at 18:28
2

I like Colorzilla when using Firefox. Simply use the eyedropper to click anywhere within the web page, including images, and it returns the RGB and Hex code.

3
  • 8
    While Colorzilla is quite useful, this is not a solution when you want to pick a color "on any windows application having various colors". Jun 29, 2015 at 0:28
  • 1
    While agreeing with Kevin, if your color is in a webpage, no need for extension (it may make it faster if you have to do this multiple times), but I just hit F12 to open the debug console, click the top left corner to "Select Element" and point to it on the browser
    – Nick
    Dec 1, 2015 at 2:02
  • this is good, as it doesn't need any software installation, just open your image in browser or drag and drop the image in browser
    – Shaiju T
    Jan 19, 2016 at 10:40
2

ColorPic is free windows app that works well for picking colors. They have a paid one as well but I find the freebie works for the simple stuff just fine.

1

I used to capture HTML colors with the Color Cop utility. Different of the majority of alternatives, it allows me to capture and after that, move the mouse preserving the color captured with allows me to use Ctrl+C later on.

1

You can use the official Microsoft PowerToys color picker. With the tool open, press Win+Shift+C to create an eyedropper:

A cursor hovering over a blue square with the color picker showing the hex code

0

I recommend Nattyware Pixie. Tiny (under 10KB), free, portable. And much easier than the Windows Paint route. Oh, and it's been around forever.

http://www.nattyware.com/pixie.php

4
  • I don't think it works on modern screens with screen scaling (high DPI). Can't recommend this tool.
    – user643011
    Apr 9, 2018 at 5:52
  • 1
    @user643011, you "don't think" it works? Actually testing it and being able to confirm that statement would be more helpful to our fellow users.
    – mach128x
    Apr 9, 2018 at 14:27
  • 2
    @mach128x: It doesn't work.
    – user643011
    Apr 9, 2018 at 14:29
  • Have used Pixie since forever but sadly doesn't work on Windows 10 – my entire screen is "white" and zoom does not work either. Time to find an alternative.
    – Dav
    Oct 30, 2020 at 21:08
0

Lot of answers already posted. I will add this answer as well.

Step 1: Capture the Screen

Step 2: Go to imagecolorpick.com

Step 3: Upload Image

Step 4: Move cursor to pick color from an image

Also, ImageColorPick displays Hex, RGB, CMYK and HSL color values.

0

If you're using Autohotkey, you can use Autohotkey's built-in program: WindowSpy

The path should be usually like C:\Program Files\AutoHotkey\WindowSpy.ahk. Or it may be AU3_Spy.exe.

Once you placed your mouse cursor on the color, you can press the shortcut key Alt-Tab and move the active window back to the WindowSpy program window, so WindowSpy stops its color monitoring by the mouse movement.

enter image description here

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.