The Color palette

Another means of selecting colors in Photoshop is to use the Color palette, shown in Figure 4-11. The Color palette is convenient, it's always there, and it doesn't hog your screen like the Color Picker dialog box. Frankly, this is the tool I use most often to select colors in Photoshop.

Color bar Alert triangle

Foreground color

Background color

Option box Slider

Palette menu

Option box Slider

Palette menu

Alert cube

Default color swatches

Figure 4-11: The Color palette as it appears normally (top) and with the Web Color Sliders option selected (bottom).

Alert cube

Default color swatches

Figure 4-11: The Color palette as it appears normally (top) and with the Web Color Sliders option selected (bottom).

To display the palette, choose Window Show Color or press the F6 key. If you want, you can dock the palette in the Options bar palette well. For details on that intriguing offer, flip back to Chapter 2. Either way, you use the elements and options inside the palette as follows:

♦ Foreground color/background color: Click the foreground or background color icon in the Color palette to specify the color you want to edit. If you click the foreground or background color icon when it's already highlighted — as indicated by a double-line frame — Photoshop displays the Color Picker dialog box.

♦ Sliders: Drag the triangles in the slider controls to edit the highlighted color. By default, the sliders represent the red, green, and blue primary colors when a color image is open. You can change the slider bars by choosing a different color model from the palette menu.

♦ Option boxes: Alternatively, you can enter numerical values into the option boxes to the right of the sliders. Press Tab to advance from one option box to the next; press Shift+Tab to go to the previous option.

♦ Alert triangle and cube: Photoshop displays the alert triangle when a color falls outside the CMYK color gamut. The color swatch to the right of the triangle shows the closest CMYK equivalent. Click the triangle or the color swatch to replace the current color with the CMYK equivalent.

If you select the Web Color Sliders option from the palette menu, the alert cube appears to indicate colors that aren't included in the Web-safe palette. The palette also displays the hexadecimal values for the color, as shown in Figure 4-11. And as you drag the sliders, they automatically snap to Web-safe hues. To limit the palette so that it displays Web-safe colors only, choose Make Ramp Web Safe from the palette menu.

Tip After you define a Web color, choose Copy Color as HTML from the palette menu to save the hexadecimal code for the color to the Clipboard. You can then paste the code into an HTML file by choosing Edit Paste in the Web application.

♦ Color bar: The bar along the bottom of the Color palette displays all colors contained in the CMYK spectrum. Click or drag inside the color bar to lift a color and make it the current foreground or background color (depending on whether the foreground or background icon is selected above). The sliders update as you drag. Alt-click or drag to lift the background color if the foreground icon is selected or the foreground color if the background color is selected.

You needn't accept the CMYK spectrum in the color bar, however. To change to a different spectrum, just choose the spectrum from the palette menu. Or Shift-click the color bar to cycle through the available spectrums. You can opt for the RGB spectrum, a black-to-white gradation (Grayscale Ramp), or a gradation from the current foreground color to the current background color (Current Colors). The color bar continuously updates to represent the newest foreground and background colors.

Notice the black and white squares at the right end of the color bar? You can click 'em to set a color to absolute black or white. But if all you want to do is set the foreground color to black, don't bother with the Color palette — just press D. For white, press D and then X. The first shortcut restores the foreground and background colors to black and white, respectively; pressing X swaps the colors to make white the foreground color and black the background color.

Photoshop Secrets

Photoshop Secrets

Are You Frustrated Because Your Graphics Are Not Looking Professional? Have You Been Slaving Over Your Projects, But Find Yourself Not Getting What You Want From Your Generic Graphic Software? Well, youre about to learn some of the secrets and tips to enhance your images, photos and other projects that you are trying to create and make look professional.

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