HUD Color Picker in Photoshop CC

Adobe Photoshop

Update! Click here (Tips for Working with Color in Photoshop CC) to see all tips for working with color in Photoshop CC in a single post.

To access the HUD color Picker, with a painting tool selected, Control + Option + Command (Mac) -click and drag to select a color. On Windows, Shift + Alt + right-click and drag to select a color. The HUD Color Picker can be displayed as either a Strip or a Wheel. From Preferences > General, select the preferred display from the  HUD Color Picker drop down menu. Note that both the strip and wheel options can be displayed at different sizes.

When the HUD color picker is displayed, continue to hold the mouse down while releasing the shortcuts keys and press the spacebar. The spacebar freezes the selection of the color and allows you to “jump” from the strip or wheel to the Hue/Saturation area (or vice versa) in order to refine one with out moving the other. Why would you want to do this? Well, you’ll quickly discover, that sometimes you have the correct luminosity and saturation selected but not the correct hue selected (or vice versa), and need to jump to the other portion of the interface to select it.  This is a bit tricky when you first start using it, but makes the HUD color picker infinitely more useful.

Adobe Photoshop

Posted on 10-26-2016


  • By Paul M - 12:43 PM on October 26, 2016  

    Short video needed.

  • By scott graham - 7:34 AM on October 27, 2016  

    re the HUD color picker:

    the only sample that you see of the {picked” color is in the tool palette and in the picker itself. This is enough, but it would be a nice added feature if a maybe 2-3 inch square popped up to the side showing the chosen color.

    could be added to the regular color picker too, though that has the before and after square.

  • By Carlos A. Oliveras - 9:17 AM on October 27, 2016  

    First things first, thanks as always to Julieanne for sharing these pieces of knowledge, tips and tricks.

    That being said, I agree with Scott Graham. I think there should be some way to get a better view of the currently chosen color.

    Regarding the HUD color picker itself, it’s something I never got myseful used to. The idea is very good since we often need to chose a color, so a quick method like this can save us a good amount of “trips” to the toolbar color picker. But the way it works feels somehow clunky, even when you get used to the “space key” maneuver. On the other hand, if quick access to the color picker is important for someone, he/she might be better off by defining a customised keyboard shortcut.