70

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?

  • 1
    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 at 21:45

13 Answers 13

89

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!
  • 6
    As far as I'm concerned, this is the best solution listed, since it is universal and doesn't require installing any new software. – Ochado Oct 19 '15 at 14:34
  • 14
    Slow and tedious. We just need a quick color picker... – Pere Jul 20 '16 at 8:19
  • 3
    .. and if the MS Paint can show and the hex color. :) – Nikola Obreshkov Sep 12 '16 at 12:24
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    @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. – PHPst Sep 3 '17 at 12:46
  • 3
    Wait, Windows' default software isn't versatile or handy? – Aaron Hall Sep 13 '17 at 15:03
53

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.

  • 2
    much better than all other solutions – Georgios Pligoropoulos Mar 8 '16 at 8:08
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    Perfect. Tiny, simple, and does the job. Thanks. – hajamie Apr 27 '16 at 21:56
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    This works fantastic and allows keyboard shortcuts to activate. Great time saver! – SomeGuy Nov 21 '18 at 21:48
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    Wonderful tiny app – Marco Demaio Mar 28 at 13:46
  • 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 at 0:53
9

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)
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

  • Not working well on W7 – Marco Demaio Mar 28 at 13:44
  • This is what is use. Works like a champ – Barry Chapman May 15 at 23:01
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.

  • 8
    FYI - its not free or open source – Shital Shah Jan 23 '17 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 '18 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.

  • 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". – Emile Bergeron Jun 29 '15 at 0:28
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    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 '15 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 – stom Jan 19 '16 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 use Pixlr on account of it being web-based, so quick and easy to use anywhere that supports Flash.

1

ColorPix is small, free, single-file application.

ColorPix screenshot

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.

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

  • I don't know why it was downvoted. Up you go – Sunil Kumar Dec 29 '17 at 10:08
  • I don't think it works on modern screens with screen scaling (high DPI). Can't recommend this tool. – user643011 Apr 9 '18 at 5:52
  • @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 '18 at 14:27
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    @mach128x: It doesn't work. – user643011 Apr 9 '18 at 14:29
0

You can pick a color from an image easily online using this website:

Online Image color picker

Just upload any image from any device and the color hex code at the cursor will be displayed.

  • The questions asks about picking a color anywhere on the screen, not just in an image. An online service can't directly do that. – fixer1234 Nov 18 '18 at 11:43
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.

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