10 Years of Making Apps

Colors - The Color Picker, Color Scheme, and Color Palette Tool on Steroids

Colors App Manual

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Color Picker

In the first place, Colors is - who would have thought - a Color Picker like all the other Color Pickers out there. Click on the big color view and the OS X Color Picker will show up. Either select a predefined or already saved color or use the screen loop to pick a color from your screen. Colors will 'copy' that color and display its color values.

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Color by Numbers

Of course, this also works the other way round.
Just click on the HEX or RGB value and type in your desired color.

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Color Variations and Schemes

Colors can automatically calculate and display variations of your selected color
or even complete color schemes based on your selected colors.
Just choose the desired variation or scheme.

Hint: Here you will find some background information,
some theory on color, and color schemes in general.


PLEASE NOTE THAT COLORS IS DESIGNED FOR US SCREEN WORKERS AND PIXEL PUSHERS. THEREFORE, COLOR VARIATIONS AND SCHEMES ARE BASED ON AND CALCULATED ON RGB AND NOT ON RYB. IN OTHER WORDS: THE BASIS OF ALL CALCULATIONS IS THE ADDITIVE COLOR MODEL, SINCE WE DON'T ACTUALLY MIX REAL PIGMENTS (SUBTRACTIVE COLOR MODEL) ON OUR DISPLAYS.

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Preview

You can directly preview your selected color, its variations, or its matching schemes. Just press the 'preview' button and select the desired template. Those previews will 'live' update themselves the moment you change the color.

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Hint: Since we all have different preferences, you can change/edit the preview templates to your liking; they are based on HTML and CSS.

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Analyze Image

Since it is sometimes hard to pick the 'right' color from the screen, from an image, Colors can analyze images for you and will display the 'best' matching color and thanks to its color scheme feature, Colors can also directly present you with a fitting color scheme.

Hint: Since your Mac and the software on it (including Colors) don't have any knowledge of art, design, and emotions, the result will always be pure, boring math and depending on the image, sometimes even fail, and the larger the image, the longer Colors will have to analyze it. Colors can help you find a matching color/scheme but it can't replace you and your eye.

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Send Color to Illustrator and Photoshop

Most native Mac apps allow the use of the system wide Color Picker and even though we can use it in Photoshop, there are reasons why we use Adobe's swatches: It is - or better yet: was - always very cumbersome to just use a color from the screen or the OS X Color Picker in Photoshop and Illustrator.

Those days now lay behind you. With Colors it is just one click and your badly needed color can be used in Illustrator and Photoshop right away.

Hint: Since it may be that some of you have to work with different versions of Photoshop and Illustrator, in the Preferences you can select which is your currently preferred one.

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Go Back in Color

We all know it: Selecting a color is like selecting the right tie or pair of shoes. It can take forever and we end up with a mess. And most of the time we finally choose the first tie color we picked hours ago. That's why Colors comes with a built in Time Machine for your colors. Just click on the history button and go back in color.

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Colors for Eternity

Most Color Pickers just display the currently selected color,
some offer you a history of the recent ones,
and the OS X Color Picker has limited space too.

All those tools have one thing in common as well:
You become color blind while trying to find the right color when you need it.

Colors puts an end to that misery.
Colors can store unlimited colors and schemes in unlimited palettes.

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To add a new palette either click the 'Plus' button or use the 'Add Palette…' menu command.

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Then you can start do add colors to the palette by clicking the 'Plus' button or using the 'Add Color…' menu command. You can either store a single color…

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…or a complete scheme.

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See the color thru the trees

In case you need to find a color later, you can just search for it by either clicking the 'Search' button or by using the 'Color Search' menu command.

Hint: You can search for a color's name, its title, its description, its HEX or RGB value.

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No color is an island

Colors makes sharing colors and using them with other apps very easy. If you want to send a client your freshly created color palette for approval, just send out a PDF file. If you want a colleague to be able to work with your color palette in Illustrator or Photoshop, just export an Adobe Swatch Exchange file. If your colleague uses Colors as well, you can just send him or her a Colors Palette file. If someone sent you a ColorSchemer file, you can just import it and Colors will automatically create a palette for you, containing all its colors.

Hint: You can also start your color collection by downloading some Colors Palettes.

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Colors in the cloud (Mac App Store Version only)

Since nowadays we tend to work on and with multiple Macs, you can enable the iCloud support in the Preferences. Colors can store all your palettes on iCloud and, if enabled, changes to those palettes can be send to other Macs - either automatically or by prompt.

Hint: Please note that neither iCloud nor Colors can react to those changes instantly. There will always be a delay and the last change always wins. Please keep that in mind. Also, Colors will only look for and load changes to your palettes. Your history and your currently selected color are stored locally. In case of trouble, you can restore your palettes from an automatically created local backup at any time.

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Custom database location, Color Picker Plugin, Registration (PRO Version only)

The PRO Version allows you to store your database wherever you want. This can be your Dropbox or your BitTorrent Sync folder and under Yosemite even your iCloud Drive.

Hint: Please note that neither the Dropbox, BitTorrent Sync nor all the others can react to changes instantly. There will always be a delay and the last change always wins. Please keep that in mind. Also, Colors will only look for and load changes to your palettes. Your history and your currently selected color are stored locally. In case of trouble, you can restore your palettes from an automatically created local backup at any time.

The PRO Version also comes bundled with a Color Picker Plugin for the OS X Color Picker. Once enabled by opening the Preferences and clicking 'Enable ColorPicker Plugin' you can access all your colors, palettes, and schemes from within any supported app like, for example, Pages, Pixelmator, Sketch, Xcode, or Photoshop.

Hint: You need to restart any open application in order for the changes to the OS X Color Picker to take effect and changes in the Colors PRO main application may take some seconds to show up in the plugin.

When you like working with Colors PRO and you did purchase it you can 'unlock' the demo version into a full version by simply pasting the registration code from my email into the 'Registration Code' field in the Preferences and pressing 'Unlock' so that the code can be validated once over the internet.

Hint: You need to restart any open application in order for the OS X Color Picker to 'know' that it 'unlocked' as well.