Sampling colors in an image with the Mac OS X Color Picker

Consider my mind blown. I did not know you could drag and drop an image onto the Mac OS X color picker so you can sample colors from that image (this has been around forever, I just never knew).

This is incredibly useful. Read the article for all the details.

Want to try this yourself? If you happen to have an application installed that uses the standard Apple Color Picker, go for it. But here’s a roll-your-own way to bring up the color picker.

Launch the AppleScript Editor application (it’s in Applications > Utilities). When the editor appears, use File > New to bring up a new script. Enter this text in the script window:

choose color

That’s all you need. Now select File > Save… and change the File Format popup to read Application. Give it a name you like and save that sucker. Now double-click the AppleScript application you just created and you’ve got yourself a little color picker to play with.

[Via iOS Dev Weekly]



  • DaWooster

    The OSX Color picker is the primary reason why I think OSX Photoshop rules over Windows.

    The Magnifying glass icon allows you to pick a color, from anything on your screen. That alone is kick-awesome.

    There are two other extensions that I feel are mandatory.

    http://download.panic.com/picker/

    Panic’s Developer Color Picker. It’s all the wonderful deceleration’s you’d ever need, web or programming. Hex, RGBA, NSColor you name it.

    http://old-jewel.com/ppicker/ The other is Painter’s Picker by old jewel.

    Unfortunately it’s 32-Bit only, and the developer’s website seems to be down. But it adds a fully functional and awesome color wheel to your tools. Here’s a screenshot.

    http://robinwood.com/Catalog/Technical/OtherTuts/MacColorPicker/CP-16PaintersPicker.jpg

  • http://scheetzdesigns.com Justin Scheetz

    I personally LOVE ColorSnapper because of the zooming capabilities and also the fact that you can grab colors from ANYWHERE on your screen, not just images: http://colorsnapper.com/

  • DanielSw

    Thanks for the tip, Dave. I tried it and it works great.

    BTW, if you install Panic’s Developer Color Picker, as mentioned by DaWooser, it appears in the OS X Color Picker, too.

  • Moeskido

    I’ve always relied upon Photoshop’s eyedropper tool for this sort of thing. Nice to see it implemented at the system level.