Barkings! | The SmallDog Apple Blog

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Lately, I have been dealing a great bit with color (not too surprising for someone working in the marketing department!). I’ve found that Apple has a great base to build upon with their Colors Utility.

If you’re wondering what the Colors Utility is, it’s a good bet you’ve used it without realizing. In apps like Text Edit, Mail and Pages to name a few, there is a utility that lets you choose the colors you want for text, backgrounds and other stuff. You may find it in the Inspector in the native Apple apps, or in various menus, but it usually can be found with the same keyboard shortcut (Command + Shift + C). Once opened, you are able to select the color you want by choosing it via the virtual box of crayons or from the full color spectrum.

If you’d like to select a specific color from a source on your screen, you can use the magnifying glass, found in the upper part of the Colors window. If you click the magnifying glass, you can then hover over any part of your screen and then click to pick the color your cursor is over. Once the color is picked, it is now your active color and you can drag it to some highlighted text or shape to change the color of that element. My primary use is to figure out the RGB and CMYK values for certain colors I find.

Unfortunately, not every app has a need for the Colors Utility even if you might (like I do). I stumbled upon a website that has a script to launch the Colors Utility as a standalone app. There’s an article that the developer wrote about the Colors Utility here; just scroll to the very bottom to find the link for her ColorPicker app.

Once you have downloaded it, just drag the script anywhere you’d like (I put it in the Applications folder). Click on it like you would any other app and it will launch the script. Then you are all set to start picking colors, regardless of the app you are currently using. Good examples: Now you can save that color you came across on a random website, or Facebook blue just because.

Note: ColorPicker is not an “Apple Approved” app since it is not found in the App store, so you must use this at your own risk. I have been using it for the past two months with absolutely zero issues and I love it. I recommend checking out the article at the very least to learn more about the Colors Utility.

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