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Just Color Picker

Free portable colour picker and colour editor for web designers and digital artists.

Just Color Picker main window, compact mode Graphic designers, digital artists and web-designers tend to look at things differently. They see the arrangement and colour scheme of things that mere mortals would just take for granted. Anything can be a piece of art or an inspiration, but it takes a discerning eye to really see it sometimes. While taking part in any computer routine, designers may see colours and colour combinations that they would like to use in their projects. With Just Color Picker, identifying the colours, saving, editing and combining them into beautiful colour combinations is a quick and simple job.

One of the main advantages of Just Color Picker is that it was created by a person who uses it on an everyday basis. It is a software for designers and digital artists created by a designer and digital artist.

Just Color Picker features:

  • Five formats of colour codes: HTML, RGB, HEX, HSB/HSV, HSL and CMYK.
  • Averaged colour sampling for easy handling of colour noise.
  • 3x, 9x and 15x magnifier and keyboard control of the mouse cursor movements for greater precision.
  • Colour list for saving and reusing the picked colour samples.
  • User’s comments and notes for each picked colour.
  • Conversion of HTML, HEX and RGB colour codes into the corresponding colours.
  • Red-Green-Blue (RGB), Cyan-Magenta-Yellow (CMY) and Red-Yellow-Blue (RYB) colour wheels with marked triads and complementary colours.
  • Harmonious colour scheme generator. With this feature you can quickly find a good combination of colours, for example, for your web site. Simply choose the primary colour of your design, and the colour picker will offer a few colours harmoniously matching with it.
  • RGB, HSV and HSL colour editors for adjusting and editing the picked colours.
  • Gradient transition between the two latest-picked colours for creating a wide range of in-between hues.
  • Text tool for evaluating the readability of the selected font and background colour combinations.
  • Optional stay-on-top behaviour.
  • User-defined hotkey to capture colour info.
  • Copying the colour code or its selected part to the clipboard just by one button click.
  • High-DPI aware application.
  • Multiple monitors support.
  • No installation required. Just Color Picker is a portable application and can be run directly from a USB stick.
  • Multilingual interface: Afrikaans, Arabic, Bulgarian, Catalan, Chinese (Simplified and Traditional), Croatian, Czech, Danish, Dutch, English, Finnish, French, German, Greek, Hungarian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Russian, Serbian, Slovak, Slovenian, Spanish, Swedish, Thai and Turkish.


Supported platforms: Windows 2000, Windows XP 32 bit & 64 bit, Windows Server 2003, Windows Vista 32 bit & 64 bit, Windows Server 2008, Windows 7 32 bit & 64 bit, Windows 8 32 bit & 64 bit; Mac OS X 10.6.6 or later. High-DPI aware application. Portable software, no installation required.

Just Color Picker version 2.1 supporting Windows 95, 98, ME or NT is still available for downloading (see the Version History below).

License: freeware.

Latest version: 4.2, released 16 October 2014.

What’s new in version 4.2: the ability to open, edit and save Photoshop’s .aco colour swatches and GIMP’s .gpl palette files.

Download free Just Color Picker 4.2 for Windows (EXE, 32 & 64 bit, portable), size 638 KB

Download free Just Color Picker 4.2 for Windows (ZIP, 32 & 64 bit, portable), size 548 KB

Both zip and exe downloadable files are portable and identical. The zipped alternative is offered purely for the convenience of those who, for any reason, can’t download exe files.

Get Just Color Picker for Mac OS from the Apple App Store (please not that, due to Apple’s restrictions, the App Store version cannot open and save external files)

If you don’t have an App Store account, you can download Just Color Picker for Mac from annystudio.com (DMG file, size 5.8 MB)

Please contact the author if you have any questions. Your comments and suggestions are welcome.

Do you like Just Color Picker? Are you fluent in any language other than English? You can help to improve Just Color Picker (FAQuestion No.7)

Version History

Version Release Date What’s New
4.2 16 October 2014

The ability to open, edit and save Photoshop’s .aco colour swatches (Adobe Color files) and GIMP’s .gpl palette files.

4.1 1 October 2014

Improved precision of the colour code calculation.

New colour scheme generator.

4.0 8 July 2014

Added CMYK colour format.

Improved multiple monitor support: now the primary monitor can be either side.

Released Mac OS version.

3.5 10 April 2014

Multiple monitors support.

Moving mouse cursor with keyboard (Ctrl + ArrowKeys).

Two bugs in v3.4 has been caught and fixed: always-black current colour area on Windows 7, and the application becoming unresponsive when the Stay-on-Top option was enabled.

3.4 20 March 2014

High-DPI screen support, HTML colour list files.

The program has been completely re-written to keep up to date with the modern devices and systems.

And, as you may have noticed, the colour picker has got a new icon. A chameleon came and replaced the orange paint-blot that Just Color Picker was wearing for quite a few years. I hope you’ll make good friends with the chameleon. He may be small and a bit shy, but he is good-looking, quick, easy to get along with, very helpful and has great colours! :-)

3.3 3 October 2013

The standard HSL colour editor has been added.

A minor bug in HSL colour picker has been fixed.

The Text tool now also displays bold header.

3.2 25 March 2013

The standard HSL colour format has been added to the existing HSL(255) and HSL(240).

3.1 19 January 2013

A new option to always open the same colour history file on start.

The issue of flickering zoom area, the current colour area, mouse cursor coordinates and colour code and has been fixed.

3.0 17 October 2012

Text Tool. It’s great for evaluating the readability of the selected font and background colour combinations.

Creation of .ini files via command line key.

2.6 1 September 2011

Full red-green-blue (RGB) and red-yellow-blue (RYB) colour wheels with user-defined number of colours can be created for each picked colour.

2.5 9 May 2011

Averaged colour picking has been added to make it easy to pick colours in the areas with colour noise.

2.4 4 February 2010

Ability to add a comment for each picked colour.

2.2 1 November 2009

Just Color Picker became Unicode, so all the languages should now be displayed correctly. If some parts of the interface are not displayed in your language, it means the translation is old or incomplete. You can correct or complete the existing translations; your help is always appreciated.

Please note, earlier versions of Windows do not support Unicode, so if you are using Windows 95, 98, ME or NT, you should download non-Unicode version 2.1:
Download Just Color Picker 2.1 (EXE), size 286 KB
Download Just Color Picker 2.1 (ZIP), size 267 KB

1.9 1 June 2008

Multilingual interface.

HSV colour editor.

New colour history features.

... ... ...
0.1 2003

The very first version of the Color Picker has been released. If was very small, very-very simple, basically just a colour picker. As time went by, the program changed its name and many new features were added. It was TakeColor in 2003–2005, Anry Color Picker in 2005–2007, and it became Just Color Picker in 2007 along with changing its location to its current place on annystudio.com.

Online Manual

Main window (Compact mode)

Just Color Picker main window, compact mode Just Color Picker is a tool that captures the colour of any pixel in any screen area and displays its code in a variety of formats: HTML, RGB, HEX, HSB/HSV, HSL and CMYK.

To pick a colour and its code, choose the desired format in the colour code formats list, then point the mouse cursor at the pixel or screen area and press the hotkey to capture this colour. The default hotkey combination is Alt+X.

To copy the code of the colour to the clipboard, click the Copy Value button. The Copy Value button copies the whole content of the colour code field, or its selected part if you selected a part of the code beforehand.

Colour list

All the colours you have picked since you launched the program are displayed in the colour list.

To select a colour in the list, simply click the colour line in the list. This will make the colour active and its colour code will be displayed in the colour code field ready to be copied or edited. A right-click on a selected colour line in the list will allow you to copy the colour code to clipboard, add/edit a comment for the colour, or delete the colour from the list. You can also delete a colour from the list by selecting it with a left-click and then pressing the Delete key.

Main window extension (Extended mode)

Just Color Picker main window, extended mode, with comments The button with up/down arrows (next to the Copy Value button) expands the program window and opens the RGB/HSV/HSL colour editor, gradient field and harmonious colour finder.

The RGB/HSV/HSL colour editor contains the latest-picked colour or the selected colour, which you can modify and then pick the resulting colour for your further needs. Use the RGB mode to change red, green or blue components of the colour. Switch to HSV or HSL modes if you need to change the colour’s hue, saturation, or value or lightness.

The harmonious colour scheme generator suggests a few colours that may be a good combination with the latest-picked, selected or being-edited colour. These colours are merely a suggestion, and the final decision about the best colour combination is of course up to you.

The gradient feature provides you with a wide range of nuances and gradations between the two latest picked or selected colours, in case you need to get something in-between.

Code-to-Colour conversion

For the inverse process of conversion of colour codes into the corresponding colours, enter the colour code into the colour code field and press Enter. The colour will appear in the colour list and its code will stay in the colour code field, in exactly the same way as if you picked it with the mouse from your screen.

Just Color Picker can convert HTML, HEX and RGB codes into colours:

  • To convert an HTML code, enter the six-character colour code with or without the preceding # symbol and press Enter.
  • To convert a HEX code, enter the six-character colour code with or without the preceding 0x symbols and press Enter.
  • To convert an RGB code, enter the three digital parts of the colour code (from 0 to 255) separating the parts with commas and/or spaces and press Enter.

If Just Color Picker does not display the colour after you pressed Enter, it means the colour code has been entered incorrectly. Correct the input and press Enter again.

Main menu

Options

There is a 3x, 9x and 15x zoom of the mouse cursor area. Use the Zoom menu item to change zoom magnification or to switch it off.

Colour Sample Area menu item offers an option for picking either the exact colour of a single pixel, or an average colour value of 3 by 3 or 5 by 5 pixel area with the pointed pixel in the centre of the area. When the 3 by 3 Average or 5 by 5 Average option is chosen, a grey rectangle bounding the averaged area will appear in the zoom field, and a “3x3 Avg” or “5x5 Avg” label will be shown in the current colour area.

To change the hotkey, go to the Hotkeys menu item. Select a new hotkey combination by pressing the keys (will be displayed in the window), then click OK. Be careful: do not choose a combination that is already assigned to another program, as the combinations will clash and may not work correctly in either of the programs.

Enabling the Stay on Top feature will keep Just Color Picker window over all other programs until you close or minimize it.

Show # in HTML code option shows or hides the hash symbol in HTML colour codes.

Tools

In contains the Colour Wheels and Text tools.

Red-Yellow-Blue (RYB) colour wheelColour Wheels

The Colour Wheels tool displays RGB (Red, Green, Blue), which is also CMY (Cyan, Magenta, Yellow), and RYB (Red, Yellow, Blue) colour wheels for the latest-picked or selected colour. The colour wheels have the selected colour, triads and complementary colours marked, and contain as many colours as defined in the Number of Colours option. You can open any number of wheel windows to compare the colours. Please note that white, black and shades of neutral grey technically are not colours; they do not have saturation, and, therefore, they cannot generate a corresponding colour wheel.

RGB colour circle can be used for finding harmonious colour combinations within additive colour model and digital output devices like computer screens. RYB colour circle is used for working with colour mixing and colour harmony in subtractive colour model, which is a classical theory of colour vision and pigment mixing still widely implemented in fine art, particularly in painting.

Just Color Picker text tool Text

The Text tool helps to find out whether a particular combination of font colour and background colour is going to look good and be easy to read. The tool becomes available whenever you picked two or more colours. It offers a comprehensive list of all fonts installed in your system, a list of standard font sizes with an option to enter any other font size, and a copy of the picked colour list for choosing the font and background colours. The window can be resized to accommodate large fonts.

Colour List

If you don’t want to lose the picked colours when you exit Just Color Picker, or need to keep the colours separately for a future use, use the Save As menu item to save the colour list to a text file. Then use the Open menu item to load it back later. The Clear All command clears the list. You can also save the picked colours to an HTML file, which displays the picked colours in a more user-friendly format, but keep in mind that HTML files cannot be loaded back into the colour picker.

If you always work with the same colour list, you can make Just Color Picker open the same colour list file on every start: save your colour list to a file named “jcpicker.txt” to the directory where you placed jcpicker.exe file.

In addition, Just Color Picker can open, edit and save Photoshop’s .aco colour swatches (Adobe Color files) in RGB and HSB format. It can also read, edit and save GIMP’s .gpl palette files.

Portability and jcpicker.ini file (for Windows)

Just Colour Picker is a portable application, which means you don’t need to install or un-install it. Just double click on the jcpicker.exe file to start using it. If you want to remove Just Color Picker from your computer, simply delete the file.

When Just Colour Picker is run from the computer’s hard disk, it saves all its settings in the Just Color Picker.cfg file in the Application Data folder on disk C or in the Windows registry (for older versions). However, when Just Color Picker is run from a portable device, e.g. USB memory stick, it creates jcpicker.ini file and saves all its settings there. The jcpicker.ini file resides in the same folder where you keep jcpicker.exe and saves you from tuning Just Color Picker every time you run it on a new computer from a portable device.

Those who would prefer Just Colour Picker to create the .ini file even when it is run from the hard disk, and those who are particular about their Windows registry, should use “/ini” key when they run Just Color Picker for the first time. With this key, Just Color Picker will create the .ini file even when run from a non-portable device. And once there is a jcpicker.ini file in the same folder with jcpicker.exe, Just Color Picker will not use a config file or Windows registry and will keep all the settings in the .ini file. If you want to transfer Just Color Picker to another device or computer with all your settings, you should copy both jcpicker.exe and jcpicker.ini files.

How to use /ini key

You only need to use this key once, when you start Just Color Picker for the first time. Use command line or Run command from Start menu. Type the path to the jcpicker.exe file, then type space and /ini, and then press Enter. For example:

"C:\Portable Programs\ColourPicker\jcpicker.exe" /ini

Some information about the colour code formats

HTML, HEX and RGB colour codes consist of three parts that define the combination of Red, Green and Blue colour components. The first two characters of HTML and HEX code, or the first number of RGB code, define the red component, the next two characters or the second number define the green component, and the last two characters or the last number define the blue. The value of each part of the colour code can vary from 00 to FF for HTML and HEX, from 0 to 255 for RGB, and from 0 to 1 for RGB [0,1].

HSB/HSV. The HSB (Hue, Saturation, Brightness) or HSV (Hue, Saturation, Value) colour code defines a colour in terms of the following three components:

  • Hue (H) gives the colour its name, such as “pink” or “yellow”. Hue ranges from 0 to 360 degrees and looks like a colour wheel, starting with primary red at 0°, passing through green at 120° and blue at 240° and wrapping back to red at 360°; all mixtures between adjacent pairs of colours are linear.
  • Saturation (S) is the purity of the colour, how little the hue is diluted with white. The lower the saturation of a colour, the more faded or dull the colour looks. The higher the saturation, the purer and more intense the colour appears. Mixing pure colours with white produces so-called tints and reduces saturation. Saturation ranges from 0 to 100%.
  • Brightness (B)/Value (V) of a colour refers to the amount of black present in the hue. Mixing pure colours with black produces shades and, while leaving the saturation unchanged, affects the brightness/value of the colours. Value ranges from 0 to 100%, with pure colours at 100%, and near-black colours close to 0%.

Some applications use different ranges of the components. For example, S and V/B can vary from 0 to 1, H may be normalized to 0–100%, or all three components can vary from 0 to 255. Just Color Picker uses the “degree, percent, percent” notation.

HSL — the Hue, Saturation, Lightness code — has hue (H) defined as in HSB/HSV and ranging from 0 to 360°. In HSL tints and shades have full saturation (S), and only tones — mixtures with both black and white — have saturation less than 100%. Pure colours have lightness (L) 50%. Both saturation and lightness range from 0 to 100%. In addition to the standard HSL (0–360°, 0–100%, 0–100%) Just Color Picker has two other HSL formats with all thee parameters ranging from 0 to 255 in HSL(255) and from 0 to 240 in HSL(240).

If you require a parameter in 0–1.0 range while Just Color Picker shows it in the 0–100% range, you can easily convert one to another: e.g. 73% = 0.73.

CMYK is a color model used in color printing, refers to the four inks used in color printing — Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Key (black); with each value ranging from 0 to 100. Because both RGB and CMYK colour cpaces are device-dependent, there is no perfect general conversion formula between them. Just Colour Picker uses the simplest conversion, good enough for most designs.

Using keyboard for greater mouse pointer precision (for Windows)

There are two way to move mouse cursor using the keyboard:

  • The simple way: make sure Just Color Picker window is active and press Ctrl + ArrowKeys.

  • The global way: Windows offers the Mouse Keys option for controlling mouse cursor with keyboard. To be able to move the mouse pointer with keys on your keyboard, you need to switch the feature on:

    In Windows XP: Start button – Settings – Control Panel – Accessibility Options – Mouse tab – Check “Use MouseKeys”.

    In Windows 7: open Ease of Access Center by clicking the Start button, then Control Panel, then Ease of Access, and then clicking Ease of Access Center. Click “Make the mouse easier to use”. Now, under “Control the mouse with the keyboard”, select the “Turn on Mouse Keys” check box.

    In Windows 8: go to Control Panel – All Control Panel Items – Ease of Access Center – Make the mouse easier to use. Check the “Turn on Mouse Keys” box.

    Now you should be able to use the numeric keypad on your keyboard to move the mouse pointer as follows:

    • 1 – down and to the left
    • 2 – down
    • 3 – down and to the right
    • 4 – left
    • 6 – right
    • 7 – up and to the left
    • 8 – up
    • 9 – up and to the right

    This function is a part of Windows and Just Color Picker has no control over it. Enabling this option will affect the whole system, not only Just Color Picker.

The standard boring disclaimer

This product is distributed “as is”. No warranty of any kind is expressed or implied. You use this software at your own risk. Neither the author nor agents of the author will be liable for data loss, damages, loss of profits or any other kind of loss while using or misusing this software.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. I press the default hotkey combination (Alt+X), but the Color Picker doesn’t pick the colour.

Sometimes the hotkey combination may be already assigned to another application installed on your computer. To fix the problem, simply choose a different hotkey combination in the Color Picker’s Options menu.

2. Why does Color Picker sometimes show slightly different colour codes for exactly same colour?

Occasionally, the colour code you set in the colour editor may be slightly different the code for the same colour displayed in the current colour area. This happens as a result of the rounding discrepancy that arises from calculations during colour format conversions. The difference is usually no greater that 1 gradation and should not be significant enough to become obvious to the human eye. For the same reason you may see a small difference in codes in different software.

3. When I run Just Color Picker from my USB stick, it creates jcpicker.ini file. What is it?

Just Color Picker recognises when it is run from a portable device and creates jcpicker.ini file that contains all its settings. It saves you tuning of Just Color Picker every time you run it on a new computer from a portable device. When you run Just Color Picker from your computer’s disk, it does not create the settings file, because all the settings are saved on that computer in this case. Read more about Just Color Picker’s ini file and portability.

4. How to uninstall Just Color Picker? I can’t find it in the list of installed programs in Windows.

Just Color Picker is a portable software and, therefore doesn’t need to be installed or uninstalled. To start using Just Color Picker, simply download the jcpicker.exe file and run it: nothing is being installed, and this is why Just Color Picker doesn’t appear in the list of installed software. To delete Just Color Picker from your computer, just delete the jcpicker.exe file.

More thorough users may also like to delete HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\AnnyStudio\ColorPicker registry key, if they didn’t run Just Color Picker from a portable device or didn’t use /ini key.

5. Can Just Color Picker be used in a commercial environment (for example, in a professional design studio)?

Yes. You can use Just Color Picker wherever you like. The only condition is that the program should not be modified or used in malicious activities.

6. We would like to publish a note about your software in a magazine/ include your software into cover CD/ publish on a web-site/ etc and want to ask your permission.

Just Color Picker has no limits on its usage and distribution as long as the program file is not modified in any way (including its incorporation into any downloaders or installers, or addition of advertisement). You may give this software to friends, burn it onto CD-ROMs or other media, include it onto cover CDs, publish notes in magazines, share it, or upload it to software archives without asking author’s permission provided the Just Color Picker program file remains exactly as it was published on annystudio.com website and is not used in any malicious activities.

Any web links to the author’s website are appreciated. Thank you for making Just Color Picker more popular. Also you are very welcome to send me a link to or a copy of the publication.

7. I like your free software. What can I do for you?

A happy user is already a sufficient reward for me, however, if you have 15–20 minutes of free time, you can make Just Color Picker better for some users by translating its interface to your native language, or by correcting, completing and improving the existing translations.

Just Color Picker has Afrikaans, Arabic, Bulgarian, Catalan, Chinese (Simplified and Traditional), Croatian, Czech, Danish, Dutch, English, Finnish, French, German, Greek, Hungarian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Russian, Serbian, Slovak, Slovenian, Spanish, Swedish, Thai and Turkish interfaces at the moment. Some of these translations need to be updated and completed. Also, I would also be glad to add new languages.

To translate the interface, you need to download the zip-archive with language text files. If you are improving an existing translation, open the file with your language and edit/translate the words and sentences after the “=” signs in each line. If you are adding a new language, take the English file and translate each line after the “=” sign. After that, save the text file as UTF-8 and send it to me via the form at the Contacts page. Please contact me if you have any questions regarding the translation procedure.

Otherwise, if you wish, you can make a donation to contribute to the software development, support and hosting costs.

Download3k clean software award Download3K.com has downloaded from annystudio.com and tested Just Color Picker, JPEG Lossless Rotator and Domino Solitaire with 4 of the best antivirus engines available today and found the software to be clean of any form of badware (viruses, spyware, adware, etc.)

SoftPedia 100% Clean Award Softpedia.com guarantees that Just Color Picker and JPEG Lossless Rotator, when downloaded from annystudio.com, are 100% Clean, which means they do not contain any form of malware, including but not limited to: spyware, viruses, trojans and backdoors. These software products were tested thoroughly and were found absolutely clean; therefore, they can be installed with no concern by any computer user.

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