Photoshop: Much Bigger Color Picker Swatch - No Outlines / Borders

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  • Updated 11 months ago
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Hello Photoshop developers...

Writing to share an idea that would be life-changing for painters who use Photoshop. 

Giving users the option to increase the size of the "Foreground Color" swatch. So that it is BIG and visible for picking the exact tone that the user wishes to pick. If you just look at the color wheel below.. you can see how big and beautiful the wheel and triangle are... but wow... is that color swatch TINY.... This makes the current chosen color essentially indistinguishable!

Subtle hue changes are completely lost upon the eye, because we cannot see such a tiny speck of a swatch. This makes it hard to pick colors for a painting... Because you cannot see what you are picking...

Even worse, is the horrid stack of outlines surrounding the color swatch. Removing these would be life-changing... because it would let users see the color they are picking clearly. There is a visual effect on the human eye - when white surrounds dark colors... they all look the same - because the white creates a "halo" effect / bright contrast effect that blinds the eye. This makes picking colors unnecessarily hard, and hit-and-miss.

If the Foreground Color Swatch could be BIG and not be surrounded by any outline - (Just like the wheel, triangle, and sliders) - a clean, BIG foreground color swatch - this would be... just amazing for Photoshop users! 

Also, allowing the users to hide the sliders... would be a great and welcome addition. So there is no visual distraction, if the user just wants to use the wheel and triangle, and not the sliders.

But most importantly, just giving users the option to make the Foreground Swatch far bigger, without the blinding outlines... Would be life-changing for painters.

The whole point being: Just to be able to see the color you are picking - and have it be big enough to be able to compare it to the rest of the painting - so you can make the right color choice.

I know there are extensions like Coolorus that have bigger swatches, without the glaring outlines. Sadly, Coolorus does not reflect work space ICC color profiles, making it obsolete when using different profiles.

If Photoshop could have these options, color extensions might not be needed.

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Sarahí Remolina

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Posted 11 months ago

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Yves Crausaz

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Just adapt the interface to your needs .... And of course to save it as a personal environment!




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Yves Crausaz

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Use the eye drop picker to choose the color on your image... !
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Cristen Gillespie

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The Magic Picker extension does work a bit better. It allows you to see the originally selected color and the color you're now selecting side-by-side. But it's not very large, so not easy to see quickly. I can envision how nice it could be if we did something like option/alt-click and hold on the swatch to have it enlarge. They already do that with preset thumbnails in Illustrator, so it shouldn't be a huge burden for PS to do it in the Color panel. Of course, I say that without any clue what's involved.  <g>
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Sarahí Remolina

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Yves Crausaz - I don't mean the eyedropper tool - I mean the foreground color swatch - which shows the current selected color. Being able to see it large - in order to judge the color well - and pick new colors correctly. Will post an image in a sec to explain...

Cristen Gillespie - Thank you for the idea of the MagicPicker - unfortunately, this extension also doesn't reflect the Working Space RGB - in this case "Monitor RGB". 
It seems that all extensions are ignoring the working space RGB. Attached is a screenshot showing this problem:

All extensions are showing washed out colors.

But since Photoshop's own color wheel does reflect the correct, working rgb - yes, it'd be amazing if the swatch could be big, and not surrounded by blinding, distracting outlines.

That sounds like a great idea.. the option/alt-click to enlarge the foreground swatch... 

The idea of comparing the current color to the previous color - if they do add that, it would be important for it to be optional. Personally, I kind of... truly hate this option, because it throws me off from picking the right color. In painting, I'm trying to compare the color to the painting on the canvas - not compare the color to the previous color.. Seeing the previous color confuses/throws off the color choice. Paintstorm has this, and it's always a pain to paint with another color always confusing the choice. 

But some people could find that useful for other purposes. So if it was reversible, it would be important. Coolorus has it as an option - in settings you can check, or un-check "Compare New/Old Colors" - and that gives users either option. Have the swatch be divided in two, or only show the current color.
(Edited)
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Cristen Gillespie

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You're right. The color squares between Magic Picker and Photoshop aren't identical. It's close enough for anything I do, but I can see it's not the same and could throw off anyone who needed it to be the same thing. Interestingly, the HSB sliders are giving out the same numbers. But they're displaying a slightly different saturation and brightness. I don't think it's just the different outlines throwing me off.

And yes, those outlines are of course enough to throw off our color perception.

> The idea of comparing the current color to the previous color - if they do add that, it would be important for it to be optional.

I agree that it should all be optional. Whether or not you click to enlarge the swatch and whether or not you can see the original next to the new color. We all have different needs and preferences when working with color, and there's no technical reason they couldn't be accommodated.

Wouldn't you even prefer a heads-up display instead of a color panel? Even with my much less demanding needs, I know I would. Get rid of the surrounding panel entirely and let me see the color in the context of existing colors without looking over and back again. No barrier between the color picker and the image.
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Sarahí Remolina

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It's strange - the difference in color is very drastic on my monitor - but the saved file on the web makes both yellows look more similar - not identical -  more dead. It must be something with the saving process.. I must be saving it with the wrong options. On my particular monitor - the yellow on the left is very bright - almost phosphorescent neon, and on the right is washed out with white and less neon. Maybe this is a problem only present in the Apple system - only with extensions... who knows...

Yes, the checkable option "Compare New/Old Colors" would be a good option depending on people's needs.

Get rid of the surrounding panel entirely and let me see the color in the context of existing colors without looking over and back again. No barrier between the color picker and the image.
THAT would be absolutely revolutionary.. amazing... Oh my word if they were to do that! It would make the world of difference when painting with Photoshop.

Same as in real life, if you're painting you compare color against color... without any outlines and panels and spaces all getting in the way of the direct comparison.

Here's a mockup idea of what both could look like - a paneled version with bigger swatch and unobtrusive background, and also a free floating version:

The second option would honestly be a dream to work with. Is the second idea sort of what you were referring to?


 
(Edited)
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Sarahí Remolina

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Yves Crausaz, posted a mockup of the idea - a panel version, and a floating version - these show the "foreground swatch" bigger - hopefully now it's easier to see the idea?
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Sarahí Remolina

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Just bumping this post... wondering if there are other artists out there who would find it useful to see the color they are selecting bigger/without blinding outlines? Instead of through Photoshop's tiny color swatch, where you can't really see what you are picking?

Sort of this idea:

(Edited)