How To Enhance Your Use Of The Photoshop Color Picker


The Photoshop color picker is a tool that allows you to select colors while working in Adobe Photoshop. Graphic artists know the impact color has on any design. In Photoshop, foreground colors are used to paint, fill and stroke while the background colors are used to fill in larger areas. The Photoshop Color Picker is one of the tools you can use to select the color of the foreground or background. Other tools that may be used for this purpose are the Color Panel or Swatches Panel. Before you make any color selection, the default settings are black for the foreground and while for the background.

The new MagicPicker 4.3 Color Wheel panel from Anastasiy at is considered by many users to be the most useful extension available for digital painting today. It enhances the use of the original color picker by providing an easy option of simply clicking on the appropriate icon to display or hide the picker. One of the issues the extension addresses is the small size of the color ramp area. The increased size and scaling ability of the color panel and the ease-of-use make it faster and easier to choose and use the colors that you want. You also have the added advantage of automatic color correction so that colors are confined within the gamut or tone you choose.

Photoshop color picker offers four color models from which to choose:

  1. HSB – Includes hue, saturation, and brightness
  2. RGB – Additive, meaning that red, blue and green light are combined in various ratios to produce a wide range of colors
  3. Lab – All colors visible to the human eye with a lightness (luminosity) component and two color components.
  4. CMYK – Percentages are assigned to colors relative to the amount of process ink colors they contain with the lighter ones being the lowest percentage and the darker ones being higher percentages.

In addition to setting different colors for the foreground and background, the color picker also allows you to specify colors to be used with different tools and commands including those used for special effects development. You also have a choice between colors in the web-safe palette (choosing it in Photoshop) or to opt for specific color models. Each color has a numeric value associated with it. If you know the number for the color you want, it may be entered into the text fields to select the color. The color slider and color field allow you to look and compare the colors you choose to determine if they are what you want.

The variety of color choices are what make Photoshop color picker so valuable to a wide range of artists. It is also what makes it difficult to understand exactly what you are choosing in any of the color models available to you. Simple improvements such as a larger color panel and the ability to preview colors make the color picker an even more valuable tool by increasing the precision with which selections can be made. When you devote your time and skills to creating the best possible project, color selection is one of the most important features to help you get professional results.