April 19, 2010

“Copy Color Hex Code” added to Photoshop CS5

Last summer, designer Sam Potts made a good suggestion:

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.

So it was written, and so it shall be:

Thanks for all the feedback on the subject.

Posted by John Nack at 10:28 AM on April 19, 2010


  • Nicolas — 11:13 AM on April 19, 2010

    Great! One might wonder why you have kept the “copy color as html” as the color tag is almost of no use anymore. Isn’t it a case where you could have trimmed the fat?

  • Thomas Maier — 11:38 AM on April 19, 2010

    Finally! This is awesome.
    Let’s see: I have two things why I buy CS5 instantly: You can save a _new_ default setting in Layer Styles and you can copy colour as Hex resp. as HTML. Both easy. But _very_ important to me.
    [Cool; thanks, Thomas. –J.]

  • keith — 11:42 AM on April 19, 2010

    Works for me, i’d been copying & pasting the hex code – until now.

  • Nathaniel — 11:49 AM on April 19, 2010

    This is a great enhancement (I’m happy!) BUT I think it is also a good illustration of the UI complaints people have been making for many years now.
    You’ve correctly identified that now colors are generally specified in CSS.
    So why does the “Copy Color as HTML” option still exist?
    It is taking up valuable menu space
    [The menu space in the Color panel flyout is valuable? Really? I’m all for pruning the UI, but only when there’s a meaningful benefit that outweighs the loss of functionality. In this case I don’t see a reason to cut what’s been working (and thus, I guarantee you, pull a lot of suddenly PO’d people out of the woodwork). –J.]
    and only provides functionality for the subset of users that are not using WYSIWG HTML editor (like Dreamweaver, where you would just paste the Hex code into the properties bar) or are using a plain text editor that doesn’t have HTML code completion (in which case, if they are so ignorant of HTML that they need Photoshop to create the code, what chance do they have of pasting it in the right place?).
    This was a perfect missed opportunity to prune the interface.

  • Bramus! — 12:34 PM on April 19, 2010

    Nice! Now let’s hope the second part of my request (@see http://blogs.adobe.com/jnack/2009/07/feedback_please_copying_hex_values.html#comment-2009115) also made into CS5 … :-)

  • Brian Sexton — 12:46 PM on April 19, 2010

    I am not sure how I got into the habit of writing color codes with lower case letters in CSS or whether it really matters either way, but it might be nice for there to be an option to use one or the other in case people have preferences.

  • thinsoldier — 1:05 PM on April 19, 2010

    Why can’t simple fixes like this be added to CS4 as a point release?
    [Well, for one thing it’s very disruptive to issue any updates that change the app’s behavior. That means time taken away from developing the next version. In other words, it’s much more efficient to make the changes during a regular product cycle, when the proverbial cement is wet all over.
    For another thing, what’s wrong with charging for things that add real value, whether they be big or small? People like to drop in here and advocate for a Snow Leopard-style release (in other words, focusing on the details–and presumably charging an equivalent amount). We’ve opted to mix the big with the small, and we think that both are worth paying for. You can of course vote with your wallet. –J.]

  • Joel Day — 3:01 PM on April 19, 2010

    1. It should’ve only copied the hex to begin with. I’m skeptical it should even include the # at this point.
    2. The fact that you are keeping the old option is a small but very meaningful example of how screwed up the design of Photoshop is at this point.
    +1 to thinsoldier’s “Why wasn’t this added to a point release.”
    [See my reply above. –J.]
    You are clearly terrified of removing the tiniest feature even if it is terrible and nobody is using it.
    [Counterpoint. –J.]
    Photoshop has become bloated and the usefulness of new features has declined significantly over the last few releases.
    I am not a proponent of reinventing the wheel or rewriting perfectly functional code, what I suggest is that you at least consider rethinking the fundamental approach behind your creative tools and their associated workflows before someone else does it for you, otherwise Photoshop and Illustrator will share the same fate as Premiere.
    [Running circles around Final Cut Pro, you mean? –J.]

  • drpepa — 4:14 PM on April 19, 2010

    John has it ever been considered having the layers a bit like ..
    What i mean by that is the idea that you can say click on a pen symbol on the layer and quickly scribble ya info text or mark.
    Just curious as when ya rushed for time phone in 1 hand and wacom pen in other ya dont have to down tools to type info on the layer, u can just tap and jot ya info down:)

  • Zev — 4:21 PM on April 19, 2010

    Great addition John!
    But put me on the kill ‘Copy Color as HTML’ bandwagon.

  • Chris Cox — 6:25 PM on April 19, 2010

    See http://www.google.com/search?client=safari&rls=en&q=fasb+revenue+recognition+rules&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8
    There are reasons that dot releases are bug fixes only, and don’t add features.

  • David Moffitt — 10:18 PM on April 19, 2010

    Great! Now if only you guys could fix the “Save for Web” dialogs…
    “You can copy image colors as hexadecimal values in the main work area (not the Save For Web & Devices dialog box). ”

  • JOHN SANDERS — 2:04 AM on April 20, 2010

    You should have had the balls to just remove the utterly pointless HTML option.
    “Less but better” – Dieter Rams

  • Martin Schaefer — 6:07 AM on April 20, 2010

    Remove “Copy Color as HTML” and add “Copy Color as RGB” instead. Output of that would be … rgb(rrr,ggg,bbb) … which is very helpful in many cases (and is valid in CSS too, btw.)

  • Kristian — 7:33 AM on April 20, 2010

    Great addition, though it should really be a change rather than addition.
    color=”” isn’t a supported attribute in recent versions of html and by recent we’re talking html4 strict, ie. not very new at all.
    Please just remove the faulty HTML option

  • Joseph O'Reilly — 9:33 AM on April 20, 2010

    This is really good, but what about copy as RGB/RGBa?

  • David Moffitt — 9:40 AM on April 20, 2010

    I love the RGB/RGBa idea (maybe in CS6? hehe). I can understand why Adobe doesn’t want to rock the boat & remove the color= version if their users are still using it, but I think it wouldn’t hurt to prod people away from “color=” and more toward web standards while we’re at it ;)

  • Floggy Bottom — 6:36 PM on April 20, 2010

    Ironic you can now copy a hex code, but not actually PASTE ONE ;)

  • steveg — 11:53 PM on April 20, 2010

    The color picker dialog in S4W will allow you to copy the hex values. The Help document is only referring to the flyout menu option.
    Yes, it would be more thorough to add the flyouts to the color picker dialogs.

  • steveg — 12:05 AM on April 21, 2010

    Do you mean, there’s no ‘Paste Color’s Hex Code’ menu item?
    You can paste a Hex Code from the clipboard into the color picker input field, but it does require a couple more steps.

  • Floggy Bottom — 10:30 AM on April 21, 2010

    I was referring to the hex field in the “Save for Web” matte dialog — it’s a long standing and infuriating bug in PS Mac.

  • Timothy Mackey — 10:49 PM on April 30, 2010

    I’m with Joseph on that. RGB/RGBA would be great for us forward looking css coders.

  • Jon — 2:57 PM on October 04, 2010

    I too am hoping for copy RGB/RGBA color values… hopeful before CS6 ;)

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