Wednesday, August 10, 2005

How do you use Color Quest?

Color Quest is a shareware utility for Mac users (see link to "Tool for Mac Users" at right) that names the color of any pixel you point to onscreen. My initial excitement about finding the program was tempered by the following:

1) the menus are mostly in Japanese,

2) the names of colors--"deep red," "dull yellowish green," etc.--aren't clear to me, and

3) it can misidentify colors--brown as "dark orange," which makes sense, but also, on one occasion, a forest green as "dark yellow."

To help solve the foreign menu issue, here is a translation of the menu items, thanks to a Japanese friend:

Across the top, the menus are: FILE, EDIT, TOOL and MODE.

Under FILE, the options are: CLOSE, PAUSE, HIDE GUIDE and GUIDE COLOR.

Under EDIT, the options are: COPY, PASTE, SELECT ALL, COPY COLOR NAME, COPY IMAGE and SETUP... (which offers the same choices as the MODE menu).

Under TOOLS, the options are: CREATE COLOR, TEST COLOR COMBINATION, GRAYSCALE, B/W and three COLORBLIND LEVELS.

Under MODE, the options are: NORMAL, LOUPE, FLOATING and MINIMIZE.

The MODE options control the appearance of the Color Quest window; the options in other menus are unclear to me, so helpful comments (or a link to online English documentation) would be appreciated!

4 Comments:

At 9:24 AM, Anonymous Paul said...

I don't rely on the color names given by ColorQuest (or WhatColor, for that matter). Instead, I look at the RGB values to determine what color I'm sitting on. Descriptive names are subjective, but the RGB is what it is. Using this info along with knowledge of what RGB mixes make what helps greatly, and allows me to ignore what someone else's definition of a color is.

 
At 9:40 AM, Blogger Purple Skies said...

Thanks for that suggestion. I think Color Quest allows one to customize color names as well... but where can I learn about RGB mixes? How do they relate to paint color mixes one might learn in color theory or a painting book or class?

 
At 10:09 PM, Anonymous Paul said...

RGB are the primaries when using projected light, the same as RYB are the primaries in reflected light, or paintings. I got lucky; in an appendix of a Lightwave manual I found a list of common colors for each hue (Red had tomato red, brick red, etc), along with their RGB specs. I'll see if I can dig it up, scan it and email it to ya! I don't know how you'd translate that to painting, since you don't have the numerical values to work with.

 
At 12:51 AM, Anonymous Fabrice said...

You should try ColorCompass. It names colors under your mouse, using very simple hue names; You can find it on the mac appstore.

 

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