How to Get Hexadecimal Color Codes with Digital Color Meter in Mac OS X

Dec 6, 2011 - 7 Comments

Get Hexadecimal Values in Digital Color Meter for Mac OS X

Want to get hexadecimal color codes easily in Mac OS? You can set the excellent Digital Color Meter application to display color as hexadecimal with a simple settings change. There are even keyboard shortcuts to quickly switch between hexadecimal, decimal, and percentage color codes!

This is for DigitalColor Meter in modern versions of Mac OS, you can also set to show color values as decimal, hexadecimal, and percentage.

Set Digital Color Meter to Display Values as Hexadecimal in Mac OS X

Here’s how you can change the Digital Color Meter tool to display colors as hexadecimal:

  1. Launch DigitalColor Meter (/Applications/Utilities/)
  2. Pull down the “View” menu and go to “Display Values”
  3. Select “Hexadecimal”

Get Hexadecimal Values in Digital Color Meter for Mac OS X

If you use the color meter tool often, you can set the three color value options as keyboard shortcuts to make this even faster to switch between.

This tip comes directly from Eric:

To make it even easier – go to System Prefs->Keyboard->Keyboard Shortcuts. In the left column pick ”Application shortcuts”. Add 3 new ones like:

as Decimal ⌘1

as Hexadecimal ⌘2

as Percentage ⌘3

A few months ago I wrote about an alternative to DigitalColor Meter for OS X Lion, with my main complaint being that the color picker tool removed the ability to get hexadecimal color codes. It turns out I was wrong, you can get hex color codes from Lion’s Digital Color Meter app, as pointed out in the comments by one of our helpful readers, Apple just changed where you select this option, placing it into a sub-menu rather than the main pull-down. This article is demonstrating how you can set that.

No need to download any additional apps after all. Thanks for pointing this out Eric!


Related articles:

Posted by: William Pearson in Mac OS, Tips & Tricks


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  1. Nate says:

    Thank you! This was concise and helpful – exactly what I needed.

  2. J.A. says:

    After wondering how I was ever going to select a colour-picker, I was delighted and amazed to discover this sitting right here on my Mac, waiting to be found. However, when I tried to follow your instructions to change the setting from “Display in L*a*b,” whatever that is, to “hexadecimal” under “View > Display Values > as Hexadecimal” I found that ALL three Display Values options (“as Decimal” “as Hexadecimal” “as Percentage”) are greyed out. Gaaak! So close! Any suggestions?
    Thanks in advance!

  3. jeff says:

    This has saved me so much time, thank you

  4. […] Digital Color Meter (if you’re using OS X Lion, which you should be, be sure to see the new way to get Hex values) are what I rely on. Both free. Both easy to use. Launch, roll over the color you want to match, […]

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