Ricci Adams about projects contact
Buy Now
Classic Color Meter

Classic Color Meter is a enhanced replacement for Apple's Digital Color Meter application. It restores functionality available in previous versions of Digital Color Meter and adds many additional features.

Download Classic Color Meter on the Mac App Store.

Hold, Tweak, & Paste

Classic Color Meter doesn't stop at measuring — it enables you to quickly tweak colors. Need a lighter shade of your website's background fuschia? No problem. Move your cursor over the background, select Hold Color, and crank up the brightness. Copy the color as an HTML Hex Snippet and paste it into your site's markup.

Classic Color Meter can also perform the reverse — copy an HTML or CSS color to clipboard and select Paste Text as Color. This fills the color aperture and enters Hold Color mode.

Features

Display Modes

  • RGB percentage
  • RGB (decimal or hexadecimal)
  • Hue/Saturation/Brightness (HSB)
  • Hue/Saturation/Lightness (HSL)
  • Y'PbPr (ITU-R BT.601 and ITU-R BT.709)
  • Y'CbCr (ITU-R BT.601 and ITU-R BT.709)
  • CIE 1931, CIE 1976, CIE L*a*b*
  • Tristimulus

Color Output

  • Values as text
  • Pasteboard image
  • Image file
  • NSColor code snippet
  • UIColor code snippet
  • HTML hexadecimal
  • CSS rgb()
  • CSS rgba()

Commands

  • Lock cursor position / X axis / Y axis
  • Adjust magnification (1x/2x/4x/8x)
  • Adjust aperture size
  • Show/hide cursor coordinates
  • Update preview continuously
  • Hold Color
  • Adjust held color
  • Paste Text as color

Preferences

  • Adjust aperture color
  • Assign actions for clicking/dragging the color swatch
  • Use lower-case letters for hex values
  • Include pound sign prefix for hex values
  • Show visual guides when locking cursor position
  • Show component sliders when in Hold Color mode
  • Assign global keyboard shortcuts
  • Move mouse cursor with arrow keys

RGB / HSB / HSL conversions

  • Show as sRGB
  • Show as Display P3
  • Show as Adobe RGB
  • Show as ROMM RGB
  • Display native values (for advanced users)
  • Convert to main display (not recommended)
  • Show as Generic RGB (not recommended)

Frequently Asked Questions

Why are you reselling the old version of DigitalColor Meter?

I'm not. Classic Color Meter was written from scratch and required several weeks of effort.

Why do values not match those in my image editor?

Classic Color Meter, like all system-level color meters, only sees the values that macOS sends to the display. These values are in the display's color space. As an image editor has access to color information prior to any color space conversion, its meter may choose to display this information as raw values in the image's color space.

For website and application development, it's recommended that you set both Classic Color Meter and your image editor to the sRGB (or Display P3) color space.

For more information, read my article on macOS Color Meters and Color Space Conversion.

I'm a photographer. How accurate is Classic Color Meter's L*a*b* display?

As mentioned in my article, there are two types of color conversion issues: clipping errors and rounding errors.

Clipping errors occur when your computer's display uses a narrower color space than your camera. For example: your camera is capable of Adobe RGB but your monitor is sRGB or Display P3. Using an Adobe RGB monitor will eliminate (or drastically reduce) these errors.

Rounding errors occur due to limitations in macOS. Specifically, macOS may reduce the color depth to 8-bit even when your photo software and display support higher bit depths.

That said, as long as your display uses an equal or wider color space than your camera, the L*a*b* readout should be reasonably accurate and usable.

I'm on a 2015 iMac, why do colors in the right view appear less saturated than those on the left?

The 2015 iMac uses a display with a P3 color space, which provides deeper colors than the sRGB color space.

When Classic Color Meter is set to “Display in sRGB”, the closest sRGB color will be shown on the right. The original screen image is shown on the left. This sRGB color represents what most Macs and iOS devices (which have sRGB displays) would see.

Minimum Requirements

  • macOS 10.10
Ready to buy? Download Classic Color Meter from the Mac App Store
Still have questions? Contact me