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In this series on productivity, author Jess Stratton takes you through the latest tools that will help you run your business and life more efficiently. Each installment covers a particular feature or technique in a different online tool, such as Google Apps, Skype, YouTube, Mint.com, Etsy, and more. Check back every Monday for tips on topics from recording and publishing video chats to managing your finances online.
Hi, I'm Jess Stratton, and welcome to Monday Productivity Pointers. This week is all about color. Not just any color. A very specific color. And that's what we're going to be talking about. How can you find out what a very specific piece of color is from your screen, and be able to use that in templates so that you can get on with your daily graphics jobs? Now when I say your daily graphics jobs, I'm not talking about your job as a graphic designer. Because you probably aren't. Like me, I'm not a graphic designer.
But it's a shame when I download templates from the internet, things like websites and downloadable office files that make my job easier, but they're in the wrong color. So they don't match my overall look and feel of my company's brand. Today I'm going to show you how you can sample a color on your screen and get the corresponding RGB or hex value of those colors. Now, that's a string of numbers that match up to a very specific piece of color. It's basically you telling the computer via syntax what the precise color that you want to use is.
So this way you can match up your company's look and feel to any template that you download from the internet such as a website or a word document. Alright let's get started. Now I've got my website open right now, and there's some nice reds, and greens, and grays in there, and I'd love to have some of these custom colors in some of my documents. So, the first thing I need to do is download color picker software, there's plenty of free ones out there. You can Google color sampler or a color picker.
I like a tool called Color Cop, which I've actually already downloaded and installed. You can download it from www.colorcop.net. It's free and easy to use. A developer has made this available for home and commercial use for free. So here's what Color Cop does. It can take a color and identify it and give me the RGB or hex value of that color. I'm going to click on the magnifying glass in Color Cop and drag my mouse over the color that I want to sample. I can see in the little square in Color Cop that it's picked up the red.
I can let go of the mouse. And now I'm ready to identify that color. If I hover my mouse over that red, the icon changes to an ink blotter. If I click, all of the sudden, that red appears. And I'm given the RGB and hex values of the colors. An RGB value is identified as three sets of three numbers. The hex number is identified with a pound sign and six characters. I can take these numbers and input them wherever I need to to get those custom colors.
I have a document open right now, its just got some plain black text on it. I'm going to change it to this red, if I highlight the word Solace, I come up here to the Color> More Colors>Define Custom Colors. An now I'm given a place where I can input a red, green, an blue value. Now Color Cop tells me those values to get that red. I can put them in, and I'll have the red available for me to use. Now they match. I can choose Add to Custom Colors.
And now I can select the red and use it for all my text. I can highlight other things and change it and build what I've got right on that website. Let's do it again. I'm going to click my magnifying glass. Drag it over to the grey text, let go. And now, I can see where I'm zoomed in. This is actually the word, a, that's enlarged, so it's quite pixelated. This is going to let me really fine tune the color that I want. And I can even click this plus to zoom in, and get a more accurate reading.
I can sample any one of these colors. I click the dropper, and there's the grey. I've got my RGB value so I'm going to come back in here, highlight the text, click the dropdown, choose More Colors, pick a box, and choose Define Custom Colors. I'm going to come back here and input this new volume, hit Add to Custom Colors select my grey and now I've got it. I can do it one more time to get this nice green up here. Click, come back, select my green.
Go through it again. And the neat thing is, once this is all done, is because I created custom colors for these, they'll be available to me when I need to use them again. Now I have a nice palette that matches my website. Think of the possibilities. If you've downloaded a template that has a colored border. You can change that colored border to any color you want as long as you have these color values whether it be RGB or hex you can customize anything.
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