Quick Tip:
Digital Color Meters for Figuring Out Online Colors

Let’s say your client just emailed you his photo. He tells you he wants you to use the same blue in his shirt for the background of his website.

One way to approach this challenge is to use a handheld color meter. Or you could hold color chips with CMYK/RGB values against the screen. The first method is exorbitantly expensive. The second gives you iffy results … at best.

The best solution is to use a computer-based color meter that allows you to read color values on your screen.

DigitalColor Meter for Macintosh

If you own a Mac and use OS X, you already have that solution. OS X comes with DigitalColor Meter.

If you haven’t moved DigitalColor Meter to a different folder, you’ll find it in Applications > Tools. If you can’t find it there, simply use Spotlight and search for DigitalColor.

To use DigitalColor Meter, move your cursor over the color you’re interested in and read out the RGB color values. You can get those values as percentages, actual values (8 & 16 bit), and hexadecimal values (8 & 16 bit).

PC/Windows Options

If you’re running Windows on a PC, Eyedropper is a free application that offers the same functionality as DigitalColor Meter.

You can download Eyedropper here. (The website may come up in Slovenian. If it does, click “English” on the right side of the landing page.)

Warning: Do not install any software that you download to your computer without first scanning it with your virus software!

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Published: April 19, 2007

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