Sometimes, when I'm trying to design something using a monochromatic color scheme, I want to make sure I get exact shades and tints of a specific color, but I don't know how I can do that because I can never seem to make the color picker move in a straight line when I'm dragging it around.

Is there a way to do this in Illy, Photoshop or InDesign?

What I'm looking for is to make it so the color picker is forced to only move along one of the red lines I've drawn:

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So I end up getting a perfect shade or perfect tint of the color that I've chosen.

2 Answers 2


Click the S or B options to the right and then adjust the vertical slider. This will retain the hue but allow you to alter saturation or brightness.


  • and there's also the color window's HSB slier. Top menu Window > Color and HSB sliders can be found from the menu at the top right of that window. i.sstatic.net/Wfj2T.jpg
    – Joonas
    Commented Feb 20, 2013 at 7:33

Same principle as Scott's answer but keeping the view the same:

  • To simply move left or right, put the cursor in the 'S' box ('Saturation') and use the up or down arrow keys to move in a perfectly straight line left or right 1% at a time. You'll notice that 0% Saturation is the far left of the box, and 100% Saturation is the far right.

  • To simply move up or down, put the cursor in the 'B' box ('Brightness') and use the up or down arrow keys to move in a perfectly straight line up or down 1% at a time. You'll notice that 100% Brightness is the top of the box, and 0% Brightness is the bottom of the box.

If you don't already, it's worth taking a minute to notice and understand that:

  • There are three clusters of letters, one each for the 3 key ways of representing a colour (you probably already know about these):

    • HSB: Hue, Saturation, Brightness (aka HSV where V stands for Value)
    • RGB: Red, Green, Blue, used by things that output light such as pixel screens
    • CMYK: Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, blacK, used by most commercial printers for inks (things that absorb light)
  • These (except CMYK?) are radio buttons, with H in HSB selected by default.

  • Whichever item is selected becomes the bar down the side, then, the other two letters in that set of three become the two dimensions of the square.

So, you can get any of these in the side bar by selecting it, then you can move left/right and up/down in the resulting square using up and down arrow keys in the numerical boxes of the two in its set.

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