Making Apple’s DigitalColor Meter useful

I had a long time gripe about the DigitalColor Meter that ships with Mac OS X. It would be nice to use it for web development when you want to copy a color from an image to make text of the same color with CSS. But the way this utility works drove me nuts…

Setting the pulldown to “RGB as Hex Value, 8-bit” sounds right. Then put the aperture over the color you want, hit command+shift+c and you have the hex rgb in your clipboard. Nice! So go paste that into your css editor and you get:

Note the quotes
Note the quotes

So now I have to go in and remove the quotes manually each time. But then, it still does not work when you view the web page. Turning on hidden characters reveals…

What a mess
What a mess

“… just… like… WHY, Steve?” An otherwise nice utility is a real pain to do anything useful with.

Well, tonight I found a good workaround for this. In the preferences, turn on “Drag in swatch drags out the color”:
Picture 5 Then, Instead of command+shift+c, do a command+shift+h. That holds the color instead of copying it:

Picture 4 Then drag that chip in the middle to where you want to copy the hex…

Picture 8

And there you have it:

Picture 7

Now… as to why it is holding F39200 but dragged F88D00? I have no idea! Comments, suggestions, etc are welcome.