Aurélien Gâteau


written on Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Recently I wrote about my so-called "lightweight project management policy". I am going to start slowly and present a small side-project: Colorpick.

Colorpick is a color picker and contrast checker. I originally wrote it to help me check and fix the background and foreground colors of the Oxygen palette to ensure text was readable. Since then I have been using it to steal colors from various places and as a magnifier to inspect tiny details.

The main window looks like this:

Main Window

Admittedly, it's a bit ugly, especially the RGB gradients (KGradientSelector and the Oxygen style do not play well together). Nevertheless, it does the job, which is what side-projects are all about.

Here is an annotated image of the window:

Annotated Window

  1. The current color: clicking it brings the standard KDE color dialog. The main reason it's here is because it can be dragged: drag the color and drop on any application which supports color.

  2. The color in hexadecimal.

  3. Luminance buttons: click them to adjust the luminance of the color.

  4. Color picker: brings the magnifier to pick a color from the screen. One nice thing about this magnifier is that it can be controlled from the keyboard: roughly move the mouse to the area where you want to pick a color then position the picker precisely using the arrow keys. When the position is OK: press Enter to pick the color. Pressing Escape or right-clicking closes the magnifier.


    Picking the color of the 1-pixel door knob from the home icon. The little inverted-color square in the center shows which pixel is being picked.

  5. Copy button: clicking this button brings a menu with the color expressed in different formats. Selecting one entry copies the color to the clipboard, ready to be pasted.

    Copy menu

  6. RGB sliders: not much to say here. Drag the cursors or enter values, your choice.

  7. Contrast test text: shows some demo text using the selected background and foreground colors, together with the current contrast value. It lets you know if your contrast is good enough according to

Interested? The project is on GitHub at Get it with git clone then follow the instructions from the file.

This post was tagged colorpick, kde and side-projects