Photoshop: Automatically select HEX value when opening color picker

  • 46
  • Idea
  • Updated 2 years ago
  • Implemented
  • (Edited)
When the color picker is opened, the red field is automatically selected. It's very, very rare that I'd want to copy the red component of a color. However, I copy the HEX value very often. Usually it's to copy a color, then paste it into another picker, like when I'm copying a shape's fill color.

It'd be great if the hex field was automatically selected when the picker is opened, saving several clicks (four clicks when copying and pasting a shape's fill color).

Photo of Marc Edwards

Marc Edwards

  • 130 Posts
  • 22 Reply Likes
  • excited

Posted 8 years ago

  • 46
Photo of Marc Edwards

Marc Edwards

  • 130 Posts
  • 22 Reply Likes
How's this? HEX is now top left field, plus I've had a crack at some other tweaks.

- Colour swatches for current and new are bigger than previously.
- Window size is similar to the one in CS5.
- OK and Cancel are now bottom right of the dialogue. This is usually a good thing as bottom right is considered the end of the page/window and the place people look for the buttons to save changes.
- Older (current) colour is on the left, which is usually seen as being the past by left to right readers.
- New colour is on the right, which is usually seen as being the future by left to right readers.
- HEX field is top left.
- Color Libraries and Add To Swatches have a little more breathing space (text only just fit previously). The extra space may aid with localization, too.
- Lots of things line up, where they didn't previously.
Photo of Jeremy Worboys

Jeremy Worboys

  • 1 Post
  • 0 Reply Likes
+1 From me. Great design.
Photo of Matthew Anderson

Matthew Anderson

  • 2 Posts
  • 0 Reply Likes
I see no need to leave off the Web Safe option. I still use it on occasion, like when I'm using a limited spectrum of greys.
Photo of Alan Hardman

Alan Hardman

  • 1 Post
  • 0 Reply Likes
This is a perfect layout, honestly its surprising Adobe didn't make a change like this years ago, and I hope they do soon!
Photo of mathias


  • 200 Posts
  • 46 Reply Likes
I agree, it's a nice layout . . . but I feel like putting the color-picker area on the right is too jarring a change. I wonder if Marc put it on the right just to be different, or if there's logic to it.
In a world that reads left to right, it seems most practical to put higher priority things leftmost. For any color-picker dialogue, I think the color-picker area is highest priority and should therefore be on the left, the text fields on the right, then the main dialogue buttons (OK, Cancel) underneath them.
Photo of Exirtis


  • 2 Posts
  • 1 Reply Like
I agree that the highest priority items should be on the left, and I think that's exactly why Marc put the color picker area on the right. I agree with his choice.

Most of the time I open this dialog it's to copy/paste from the hex field or to tweak one or more of the numeric fields. In contrast, I rarely ever use the picker area. And when I do use the picker area, having it on the right plays quite intuitively into my right-handedness since I'm usually in more of a painting mode of work & thought—kind of like dipping into a color well.

But really, when I am painting I prefer a more pure color-picking / color well experience anyway, so I almost always use the HUD Color Picker introduced with CS5.

To sum up:
- I use the color picker dialog window when I want numerical color control, so having the text fields at the left seems better then.
- When I do want an actual color picker experience, I just use the HUD Color Picker anyway—having a color picker area on the dialog window seems more a convenience and legacy-support option to me.