Choosing the right colors for a design project can be tricky. Having access to a color picker tool allows you to easily select colors and find complementary shades. Many software programs have built-in color pickers, but what about Microsoft products? Here, we’ll explore whether Microsoft has a native color picker available.
What is a Color Picker?
A color picker is a tool that allows you to select a color visually. With a color picker, you can:
- See a wide palette of color options
- Adjust hue, saturation, and brightness values
- Identify complementary and contrasting colors
- Sample colors from images and webpages
- Convert between color formats like RGB, HEX, and HSL
Having a good color picker makes it easy to find and use the perfect colors for any design or document. The color picker displays color options visually, instead of requiring you to manually enter color values. This intuitive interface helps even novice users to pick great colors.
Native Color Pickers in Microsoft Products
Many Microsoft products include built-in color picker options:
Word has a native color picker dialog that allows you to select theme colors, standard colors, or custom colors. To access it:
- Highlight some text or shape
- Go to the Home tab
- Click the arrow next to the Font Color icon
- Choose More Colors…
This will open the color selection dialog. You can move the brightness slider to create lighter and darker shades. There’s also an option to create custom colors using RGB values.
The PowerPoint color picker works the same way as the one in Word. Highlight some text or a shape, open the Font Color drop-down menu, and select More Colors.
PowerPoint’s color picker has theme colors, standard colors, and custom colors. You can preview shades visually before applying your selection.
Excel also has color picker functionality through the Font Color menu. However, you’ll notice fewer default color options than in Word or PowerPoint. The standard color palette doesn’t include theme or custom colors.
But you can still select cells in Excel and use the Font Color > More Colors option to open a basic color picker. You can create custom colors by adjusting the RGB values.
In the latest version of Outlook, you can access the color picker through the Text Highlight Color option. Highlight some text in an email, then go to Home > Text Highlight Color > More Colors.
This opens a color selection dialog where you can choose theme colors, standard colors, or custom RGB colors. The color picker in Outlook has the same options as the one found in Word.
Paint has an excellent built-in color picker that makes it easy to sample colors or create custom colors. To open it:
- Go to the Colors panel
- Click Edit colors
The color picker has a palette wheel for hue selection, a brightness slider, and options to change RGB, HSB, or HEX values. You can instantly create any color imaginable.
Color Picker in Microsoft Edge Browser
The new Microsoft Edge browser has an especially robust color picker tool. To access it:
- Open the DevTools panel (F12)
- Go to the Styles tab
- Click the box icon next to any color property
This will open a full-featured color picker with palette selection, brightness adjustment, and color input fields. You can sample colors from any website element or create custom colors.
The Edge color picker also includes an eyedropper tool to select colors from anywhere on the screen. This makes it easy to grab colors from other open applications.
Using the Windows Color Picker
In addition to the built-in color pickers in Microsoft applications, you also have access to the standard Windows color picker:
- Open Control Panel > Appearance and Personalization > Personalization
- Click Colors on the left
- Scroll down and click Color Mixer
This opens the Windows color picker with palette selection, hue adjustment, and options to input RGB, HEX, CMYK, or HSL values.
The Windows color picker works anywhere color values can be input. You can use it alongside tools like Microsoft Paint or other design applications.
Third-Party Color Picker Options
While Microsoft products include basic built-in color pickers, you may want more advanced color tools. Here are some good third-party color picker options:
Adobe Color CC
This free tool from Adobe lets you explore color combinations and create color palettes to use in designs. It’s integrated with other Adobe products but can also be used on its own.
ColorPix is a dedicated color picker app for Windows. It includes standard color options plus tools like eyedropper, magnifier, palette editor, and color schemer.
Sip is a free color picker for Mac and Windows. You can visually pick colors or enter numeric values. It also lets you access system color pickers built into Photoshop, Illustrator etc.
This website lets you browse millions of user-created color palettes and patterns. It’s a great resource for finding color scheme inspiration.
While Microsoft applications include basic built-in color pickers, they lack some of the advanced features available in dedicated color tools. But programs like Word, PowerPoint, and Edge provide you with color picking options that work well for basic tasks.
To explore the full range of color selection abilities, third-party color pickers like Adobe Color CC and ColorPix offer robust features. But the native color pickers in Microsoft products provide helpful on-the-go color resources within your everyday applications.
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