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How do I find the hex value of a color in an image?

Finding the hex value of colors in an image can be very useful for web design and development. The hex value allows you to precisely match a color for use in CSS, HTML, or graphic design programs. Here’s a guide on how to find hex values from image colors on both Windows and Mac OS.

The hex value of a color is a six-digit code that represents the exact RGB (red, green, blue) components that make up that particular color. For example, pure red is #FF0000, pure green is #00FF00, and pure blue is #0000FF. By combining different amounts of red, green and blue you can create millions of other colors. Hex values always start with a # symbol and then have six hexadecimal characters from 0-9 and A-F.

To find the hex value for a specific color in an image, you’ll need to use a color picker tool or utility. This will sample the color information at a particular pixel and then convert the RGB values into the corresponding hex code. Here are some recommended ways to find color hex values on both Windows and Mac.

Using Digital Color Meter on Mac

On Mac OS, you can use the built-in Digital Color Meter utility:

  1. Open the image file containing the color you want in Preview or any image editing program.
  2. Launch the Digital Color Meter from Spotlight or the Utilities folder.
  3. Position the cursor over the color in your image you want to sample.
  4. The color values including the hex code will be displayed near the cursor.

Here’s an example screenshot showing the Digital Color Meter displaying the hex and other color info:

Digital Color Meter displaying color values

As you move your cursor over the image, the color values will update dynamically. When you have the hex code for the color you want, you can copy it from the Digital Color Meter window.

Using ColorPix on Windows

For Windows users, a good option for sampling image colors is the free ColorPix utility. Here’s how to use it:

  1. Download and install ColorPix from the developer’s website.
  2. Launch ColorPix and open the image file with the color you need.
  3. Hover over the color in the image preview pane.
  4. The color values including hex code will be shown in the right side panel.
  5. When you have the hex code, you can click the Copy button to copy it to your clipboard.

Here is an example of ColorPix displaying the hex and RGB values:

ColorPix displaying color values

ColorPix makes it very easy to quickly sample colors from anywhere on your screen. The handy preview pane lets you accurately target the exact pixel you want.

Using Paint on Windows

The classic Paint app in Windows also lets you eyedropper sample colors and find their hex codes:

  1. Open Paint and then open the image file.
  2. Click the Select Color button in the toolbar (eyedropper icon).
  3. Click on the color in the image you want to sample.
  4. In the Edit Colors window that opens, you’ll see the Color/Solid field with the hex code.

Here’s an example of the Paint Edit Colors window with the hex value:

Paint Edit Colors window with hex code

While not as full-featured as the other tools mentioned, Paint can be handy for quick color sampling if you’re on Windows.

Using Online Color Pickers

There are also many online color picker tools you can use to find the hex code for colors in an image:

These websites work similarly – you upload an image, click on the color you want, and they will show the hex code. This can be useful if you need to find colors and are not at your own computer.

Tips for Accurate Color Picking

Here are some tips to get accurate, consistent color values when sampling from an image:

  • Zoom in as close as possible on the color you want before sampling. This minimizes contamination from surrounding colors.
  • Pick colors from pixels near the center of solid color areas instead of gradients or edges.
  • Double check that your monitor is calibrated properly for color. An uncalibrated monitor can skew results.
  • Sample very light and very dark colors carefully. The RGB values may be clipped at 0 or 255.
  • Try sampling the same color from multiple pixels to check consistency.

Following these tips will help ensure you get precise, reliable hex values for colors in images.

Applications of Image Color Sampling

Here are some common uses for sampling colors from images:

  • Web design – Matching colors precisely for CSS, HTML, SVG, etc.
  • Graphic design – Identifying colors to recreate in programs like Photoshop, Illustrator, etc.
  • Digital painting – Sampling color inspiration from photos to use in digital artwork.
  • Print design – Matching Pantone or CMYK equivalents to use in print materials.
  • Mobile apps – Extracting colors from branding to use in app interfaces.
  • Computer vision – Detecting, segmenting, and recognizing objects based on color.

The ability to accurately sample pixel colors as hex values is an invaluable tool for any kind of design or development involving visuals or imagery.


Finding the precise hex color values from an existing image is easy with the right tools. On Mac, use the built-in Digital Color Meter. On Windows, try the free ColorPix application or the classic Paint program. Online color pickers are another option if you don’t have image access on your own computer. With practice, you’ll be able to quickly extract color inspiration or specifications from any existing visual source.

Accurate color sampling takes high-quality source images, properly calibrated monitors, and an understanding of which pixels will give you the truest color. But the ability to identify exact colors as hex codes gives you unlimited possibilities for matching, analyzing, and making use of colors from the real world.