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How to find the color code for an object on the desktop on Windows 10

Color plays a major role in how good anything looks on your screen and how useable it is. Think of an app that you use everyday, and picture how it would look if it were monochrome. Color helps highlight different buttons, controls, and even text fields. The color may be subtle as in a little shadow, or a highlight, or it might be bold like the red that a close button turns when you hover the mouse cursor over it. If you need to find the color code for an object on your desktop, the process is pretty simple.

Screenshot and Paint

If you’re looking to find the color code of an object without installing anything on your system, we strongly recommend using Paint. Make sure whatever it is you want to find the color code for is on your screen, and tap the Print Screen (PrtScrn) key.

Open Paint and you’ll notice that the Paste button is active. Click it and everything on your screen will be pasted as a screenshot in Paint.

Once the screenshot has been pasted, pan to, and zoom in on the object that you want to find the color code for. On the Tools set of buttons, click the eyedropper button to activate the color picker that’s built into Paint. Move it over the object you want to find the color code for and click it.

The color will be ‘picked’. To find its code, click the ‘Edit Colors’ button. In the window that opens, you will see the RGB value for the color. If you need the HEX code, you can use Google to convert the RGB value to HEX code.

While this method is easy to use and doesn’t require extra apps to be installed on your system, it’s a bit tedious. If you only occasionally need to pick color from your screen, this will suffice but if you do it often, a dedicated color picker tool is what you need.

We recommend using CatchColor. It’s light weight, and it runs in the system tray. It has a neat magnification feature that lets you accurately pick the color of an object on your desktop. Additionally, you may find that when dealing with gradients, Paint’s own color picker doesn’t always do a great job. That’s where a color picker utility might come in handy.

Many image editors have color pickers so if you don’t want to run an app like CatchColor, try using IrfanView’s color picker tool instead.


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