Thursday, January 12, 2006

OS X Digital Color Meter

Aperture tricks is mandatory reading for anyone using Apple's photo management app. This tip points out an OS X utility that could be used in iPhoto too.
Aperture Tricks: Aperture Trick#20 READING RGB VALUES IN APERTURE:

... Go to your Utilities folder and open DigitalColor Meter. It's a slick
little app included with Mac OS X. In its preferences, set the
magnification factor to 8X, and check the box next to 'Float window
above other apps.' Move the diameter of the meter (called Aperture
Size) to its smallest setting. "
Update 1/12/06: It turns out DigitalColor Meter has a help file. Here's one topic:
Copying a color into an HTML or graphics document

You can use DigitalColor Meter to copy the color value of any pixel on your display into an HTML or graphics document. For example, you may want a background color on an HTML page to match a color in a graphic that overlays it.

Open DigitalColor Meter, located in /Applications/Utilities.

From the pop-up menu, choose the type of color value that matches what you need in your document. For example, if you want to use a color in an HTML page, set the type of color value to RGB As Hex Value, 8-bit.

Drag the Aperture Size slider to the desired size. Reduce the aperture size until you can accurately pick a single color without including other colors. If more than one color is within the aperture, the color value of the pixels will be averaged.

Point to the color that you want to copy, then press Shift-Command-C to copy the color values of the pixels.

Open your document and set the insertion point where you want to place the color value, then choose Edit > Paste.

To hold the current color as you move the pointer, press Shift-Command-H. Press Shift-Command-H again to release the hold. You can also use the arrow keys to move the aperture in single-pixel increments.
You can also use the preferences to tell DCM to display your mouse pointer coordinates; they update as you move across the screen. Version 3.4. Where the heck did this little thing come from? It feels like a labor of love. I'll use it with iPhoto starting now!

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