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A lot of designers use Photoshop as a design and mockup tool. And in doing so, one of the last steps can be to get a lot of the colour information out so things like gradients and dynamic text can be rebuilt using HTML, CSS, Cocoa or some other language.

Sampling a colour, then opening the picker and tabbing or double clicking the HEX field, then pressing ⌘C (Mac) or Control-C (Windows) requires a few steps.

If you have a final design document and you'd like to copy lots of colours to the clipboard, what's the fastest way to do this?

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My somewhat related Q on StackOverflow: Are there any good reasons for using hex over decimal for RGB colour values in CSS? – e100 Jul 18 '12 at 9:12
Good question. For me, it's far easier to transport the colours around as HEX, because only a single copy/paste is needed. Often the colours end up as NSColor or UIColor anyway. HEX is just the quickest way to get it out of Photoshop. – Marc Edwards Jul 18 '12 at 11:13
up vote 16 down vote accepted

The Color panel has some well hidden abilities to copy the foreground colour to the clipboard. These can be assigned to a keyboard shortcut. I use ⌥⌘C.

Copy colour keyboard shortcut

It's also possible to right click with the eyedropper tool. This is quicker if you're sampling many colours.

Eyedropper tool copy colour

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You may use an awesome software called Colorpic ( - it will enable you to create palettes for different projects that can be referred to at a later stage.

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