July 02, 2009

Feedback, please: Copying hex values

Designer/Twitter crazy person Sam Potts made what I thought was a good suggestion earlier today:

The Copy Color as HTML in the color panel is awesome. Everyone uses it all the time. However, times have changed and my guess is that most of the people who use this are writing their colors in CSS. So you always have to delete the color=”” part after you paste it into a style sheet.

It would be awesome to simply have a “Copy Color Hex Code” option and get #CCFF00 instead of the full color=”#CCFF00″ tag.

Or, to cover both bases, add to the panel menu:

Copy Color as HTML —> color=”#CCFF00″ as it is now


Copy Color as CSS —> color:#CCFF00

I know it’s a tweaky query, but if you have a preference, please chime in.

Posted by John Nack at 10:50 AM on July 02, 2009


  • Justin — 11:07 AM on July 02, 2009

    My preference is definitely to simply copy the hex value since there are so many properties in css that take a color value (color, border-color, text-shadow, etc).
    A related usability improvement might be to strip out #s when pasting into the hex field in the color picker. So many times I’ve copied a color value from a CSS file and PS would chop off the 6th digit because of the #.

  • Mario — 11:15 AM on July 02, 2009

    Or how about buying macrabbit and creating the next killer css application

  • Alex — 11:18 AM on July 02, 2009

    I agree with Justin, and with Sam Potts as well. However, why not including all options that guys wrote. Eg. take a look at firefox´s extension Color Picker (http://www.colorzilla.com/firefox/), it can copy values in different ways (RGB/CMYK/HEX with and without #), it would be a good option to include color:#CCFF00 as well

  • Ben Hansen — 11:28 AM on July 02, 2009

    i would say just the value as well

  • Chris — 11:28 AM on July 02, 2009

    I’m in agreement with Justin (above) here. Just copy the #CCFF00 and it can be used in HTML or one of many CSS properties.

  • Andrew Odri — 11:31 AM on July 02, 2009

    I’m all over the hex value as well, and would lean towards omitting the hash as well. I have also had issues with applications stripping out the last digit.
    The copy CSS option seems a little to boxed in, as it would apply only to one type of selector; what about selectors like background-color, font-color, and CSS shorthand?

  • alex kent — 11:38 AM on July 02, 2009

    i agree with Justin, plain old hex-values are the most useful. anyone who is interested in copying hex-values from PS will know how to write code which fits around it.

  • jim Pogozelski — 11:45 AM on July 02, 2009

    Not only should it have no quotes, the # sign can go too. When I double click in my text app (css file) the 6-digit number gets highlighted so pasting would cause a double ##.
    Also, make it all lower case (ccff00 instead of CCFF00).

  • Jonathan Lang — 11:47 AM on July 02, 2009

    Also rooting for Hex value only, color – tag has had its days, and if you really write html, you can add the color=”…”
    Or you get that anyways if you’re using smart programs like Coda or Espresso. Not that you would use html colors when you’re coding using those apps, but still…

  • Ben — 11:51 AM on July 02, 2009

    Value only, no hash no nothin’.

  • DrWatson — 11:53 AM on July 02, 2009

    Who the heck uses the color panel? Seriously? As far as I’m concerned, I choose colors from the color picker. From there, I just copy the hex color as needed. However, “copy color hex code” seems to be more contemporary than “copy color as HTML”.

  • texec — 11:54 AM on July 02, 2009

    color=”” is totally 1.0 – simply copy the value and please don’t add more options.

  • Adam Norwood — 12:07 PM on July 02, 2009

    Another vote for having an option to copy just the hex value, no #, no assumed HTML or CSS properties attached. It’s become muscle memory for me to use the eyedropper tool then the color picker to directly cut-and-paste the value from the picker’s box — I’d love to be able to do it all with a single right-click!

  • Laurent — 12:13 PM on July 02, 2009

    I think only the hex value without the # would be good, so we can paste it anywhere. I don’t think a lot of people use the color=”#…” anymore and if there are people that still use it, well… they deserve to write a little more code hehe.

  • Patrick Serrano — 12:22 PM on July 02, 2009

    Hex value please! You can write the rest of the code if you need the “color=” I think hex is more versatile

  • Tim — 12:33 PM on July 02, 2009

    Just the hex value, please. Preferably all lowercase, but that’s not critical.

  • Andrei Herasimchuk — 12:34 PM on July 02, 2009

    For people who use this feature (and I do), you can safely assume that the majority of the time all people need are the 6 characters, no tag, no selector, no # sign. Just ccff00.
    However, the right way to fix this feature is to create a preference for it that dictates the format, and let’s the user set the format. With the default as the 6 characters only. Once someone sets their format, there is a high likelihood they’ll never change it. Generally speaking, people have a workflow from Photoshop to other products that doesn’t change. They just need Photoshop to give them the information they use in the way they do it.

  • David — 1:08 PM on July 02, 2009

    I didnt even know (or forgot) that I could do that so thanks for the inadvertent tip.
    Since Im here: Just the numbers would suit me fine.

  • Mike Sims — 1:18 PM on July 02, 2009

    Add me to the group that just wants the hex code.

  • Paul — 1:25 PM on July 02, 2009

    Yes, ditto what Justin said.

  • Wolf-Dieter Grabner — 2:17 PM on July 02, 2009

    I’d opt for copying the color-value / #xxyyzz only, too.

  • Martin Schaefer — 2:29 PM on July 02, 2009

    It would be VERY helpful to also get “rgb(255,128,255)” format (without the quotes).
    This format is used a lot in programming languages and it also can be used in CSS … something, many don’t even know.

  • dizeyner — 2:55 PM on July 02, 2009

    I would also just like to copy the value

  • Tim — 2:56 PM on July 02, 2009

    Another vote for the hex value without the #

  • Eamon Nerbonne — 3:01 PM on July 02, 2009

    My vote is certainly for a minimalistic default – I’d be OK with a hash, but certainly not color=”…
    As for options, well… they confuse matters. As long as they’re not in the way of normal usage, a configurable solution is OK.

  • Paul Howson — 3:37 PM on July 02, 2009

    Hex only, with or without the hash, would be more useful than the current approach.

  • Conrad Chavez — 3:52 PM on July 02, 2009

    I agree with Martin that it would be great to have an option to copy rgb format: xxx,xxx,xxx. Coming from photography (I’m not a pro web designer), I can’t think in hex but I can tweak a color in RGB very quickly by editing the CSS code. Once I discovered that CSS can take RGB values, I haven’t used a hex color code since, and my RGB-specified CSS colors seem to be supported in all of the main browsers.
    As it is now, I visually work out a color in the Color panel or picker, and then have to manually enter the three RGB values in my text editor since the three RGB values don’t appear together in one selectable text field in Photoshop.

  • Pedro Estarque — 5:20 PM on July 02, 2009

    I have to admit I still use HTML color from time to time, old habits die hard.
    Having both options would be great, but if I had to choose, I guess CSS makes more sense.

  • Claudius Coenen — 5:52 PM on July 02, 2009

    Hex-Value. Sometimes you even want to use it for something completely different than HTML OR CSS.
    One more enhancement while you’re at it:
    Make the small box at the bottom of the color-picker ignore a leading # when pasting into it. In CS4, when I have “#ab22a1” in my clipboard and paste it in there, it shows up as “#ab22a”, instead of “ab22a1”. When typing, it already ignores anything outside 0-9a-f, but when pasting it does not.
    I sometimes use this field to copy/paste a color from one place to another. This way it would work nicely with the “copy as html” command.

  • Zev Iosupovici — 6:16 PM on July 02, 2009

    Just the hex.
    But it would also be nice to have an option for RGB and RGB + Alpha.

  • thinsoldier — 7:52 PM on July 02, 2009

    In the future hsl(199,80%,16%) will be more useful than rgb(255,128,255)

  • Stormchild — 9:13 PM on July 02, 2009

    I only want the hex value with no octothorp (#) and no other cruft. This is the only way I can easily select/copy/paste hex colors without doing any extra editing.

  • Miloš — 9:34 PM on July 02, 2009

    How about selecting eyedropper tool, then right click on the image and Copy Hex Value straight from contextual menu?
    No #s, no color=”…”.
    Also no opening of color picker panel.
    You could even use a sub-menu w/ Copy -> HEX/HSL/CMYK/RGB Value (than again, that would introduce +1 step of digging through the menu).

  • hoelterp — 10:04 PM on July 02, 2009

    Oh, this one has bothered me for some time. Please just give us the hex value with no other fluff. Color information gets pasted into many different situations – not just color: (background and border colors, for example).
    Thanks for asking us, John…

  • Todd Patrick — 10:39 PM on July 02, 2009

    Definitely just the hex value, in lowercase, no # or “color=/:”. And PLEASE coordinate with the Illustrator team so you can copy and paste hex values between apps.

  • fr — 10:40 PM on July 02, 2009

    values only too, please ç

  • Bramus! — 2:37 AM on July 03, 2009

    Copy it with the hash, without any extra markup (be it HTML or CSS or somehting else) as that actually *IS* the value:
    – 123456 for example is a number: one hundred and twentythree thousand …
    – #123456 is a color.
    However, the above is useless right now. Why you ask? Plain simple: the color picker in let’s say Photoshop isn’t smart enough to filter out the color upon pasting: when you paste #123456 into it, it doesn’t work; It requires you to paste the color without the hash into it.
    Fixing both (copying with # and filtering out the # upon pasting in the color picker) would be ideal in my opinion :-)

  • Oo — 2:55 AM on July 03, 2009

    I too would love it to work like colorzilla (as suggested in 3rd comment by Alex). In colorzilla you have following options:
    Copy “rgb(33, 33, 33)”
    Copy “rgb(13%, 13%, 13%)”
    Copy “#212121”
    Copy “212121”

  • Paul H Howells — 5:31 AM on July 03, 2009

    Copy Color as Hex -> #ffcc00
    with a Short Hex preference option so that if (as above) the hex can be simplified to 3 digits then you get: #fc0
    I also agree with Justin’s suggestion of stripping out #s if they are pasted in.

  • Trevor Morris — 7:24 AM on July 03, 2009

    Just the hex value please.
    Also agreed with those requesting the ability to paste #value and have the ‘#’ stripped.
    Thirdly, it’d be awesome if the hex (‘#’) field in the Color Picker had an accelerator shortcut (e.g, Alt+3, or Alt+H), so that the value could be quickly copied/pasted using the keyboard. Currently you have to first select the field with the mouse or Tab three times to get there. (There’s a Wizard of Oz joke in there somewhere).

  • Tilo Rust — 3:35 PM on July 03, 2009

    I prefer “value only”.
    And in addition:
    Dreamweaver should have the same color picker as Photoshop. How about that?
    Should not be toooooo hard to do with the next release.
    [I don’t know about that, but it shouldn’t be hard for a third party to turn this panel into a DW panel. –J.]

  • Bernd Barsuhn — 4:45 PM on July 03, 2009

    Just the hex value please. I don’t need the # prefix either. I’d also add a vote for the rgb(…) formats.

  • Timothy Mackey — 11:06 PM on July 04, 2009

    Tilo has a good point…The dreamweaver color picker is alright if you’re going to stick to web colors, but if you want anything outside of that, it makes you use the system default color picker, which I personally HATE.
    On the subject at hand, copying simply the hex value with nothing other than the digits would be the best option, IMO. Its the most versatile.

  • Daemon — 5:28 AM on July 05, 2009

    It should be as raw as possible raw, as both cases will screw up ONE side.
    Also, Dreamweaver (or any other coding software) usually takes care of the front part with autocomplete.
    What we need is RGB/cmyk to be possible to copy/paste better. For example if i select this text:
    100 150 200
    And paste it into first field (R), it should populate
    R: 100
    G: 250
    B: 200
    Also, those fields in Photoshop need to be all selectable at once.

  • Abe Yang — 11:59 PM on July 05, 2009

    Just the hex (sans #)

  • Dru Kepple — 9:15 AM on July 06, 2009

    Another vote for “Value Only.” My reason is that I often paste the value into Flash, so the hex value all by itself, without a “#,” it ideal. I don’t use the “copy as html” option, I just copy the text in the hex value field.

  • Patrick Moore — 9:56 AM on July 09, 2009

    I’m with DrWatson… I don’t even touch the color panel. What’s wrong with copying the hex value from the color droplet panel and using it for whatever purpose you need.

  • Brian — 9:18 PM on January 15, 2010

    One key to copy hex code to clipboard would be PERFECT.
    Currently there are way to many clicks for such a common task.

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