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Software Review of:
Dot Color


Susan Ives is a past president of Alamo PC.

From the January, 2003 issue of PC Alamode Magazine

The graphics programs I use the most — Photoshop and Paintshop Pro — have color eyedroppers. For those not familiar with the concept, you point the eyedropper at an area of your graphic; it analyzes the color of the pixel you are pointing to and changes the color picker to that color so you can use it to make an exact match.  

There’s nothing at all wrong with the concept, except you have to have the graphic in your graphics program to start the process. What if I want to match the color in a Web page? Or in another document — a word processing document or a PowerPoint slide show? It gets more complicated. I have to import the relevant portion of the document into my graphics program — perhaps by performing a screen capture — and then go through the eyedropper routine.

Dot Color is a deceptively tiny program that simplifies the process. When you run it, it resides in your Windows toolbar as an eyedropper icon. When you double-click on the icon, a floating box  pops onto your screen. It works in any program.

You point your cursor at anything and Dot Color tells you what color it is. You can configure it to tell you the color in various flavors: I have my Dot Color configured to display RGB (red-green-blue, the color system used by JPG photographs) and HEX (the color system used by HTML to set things such as text and background colors.) 

The icon is magnified in the Dot Color viewer, and the color in the crosshairs is R247 G196 B97 or HEXF7C361. The program can also show CYMK colors (cyan-magenta-yellow-black) and HSB colors (hue-saturation-brightness). You can also specify Web-safe colors only, gray scale conversion, or even color inversions.

With a few mouse clicks you can copy the RGB code (CTRL-Click) or an actual screen fragment (CTRL-ALT-Click) to the Windows Clipboard tocut and paste it into another program. There is also a color slider that lets you create your own colors and record all the needed codes.

The floating window can be obtrusive when you are doing other things but you can easily make it appears and disappear by double-clicking on the icon in the system tray.

Best of all, the program is free. Download it from  williamlogan.org. This site has a couple of dozen other color utilities free for download as well, so make a feast of it.

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