Back Home Table of Contents

Color Picker Dialog

The NPS Color Picker is a highly functional tool for working with color. It can operate both as part of NPS and as a standalone color selection/conversion tool for use with other applications. You can select colors using multiple color selectors, copy color values, and convert colors from one format to another, all within a few clicks' reach.

To successfully take advantage of all features of the Color Picker, think of the color selectors as steps in a workflow, not necessarily as mutually exclusive methods of accomplishing the same thing. For example, you may use the Screen color selector to choose a color from any point on your screen, desaturate the color using the HSL mixer, and finally adjust the transparency of the color using the RGBA mixer.

At the same time, the NPS Color Picker can be as simple as you need it to be – if you just need to quickly select a color, you do not need to worry about the many features you do not wish to use. If you prefer to use the standard operating system color dialog, you can do so as well.

Using Color Selectors

Use the navigation pane on the left of the dialog to switch between the currently available color selectors. The current color will be preserved in the new selector, allowing you to use multiple methods to refine your color selection.

NOTE: Some color selectors have more restrictive ranges than others. For this reason, you may notice slight changes in color when switching selectors.

Static and Dynamic Modes

Some color selectors, especially those of the "mixer" type, offer two modes of operation: static and dynamic. This can be switched using buttons located near the top of the window.

In Static mode, the sliders generally appear the same regardless of the currently selected color. This allows you to see each slider's value independently and get a better sense of how the color is calculated.

In Dynamic mode, the sliders are continuously updated in such a way that moving to a given position on any of the sliders will result in that color being selected. This can make generalized selection of color more intuitive.

Base channels

Plane selectors sometimes have a "base" channel, which refers to the thin bar to the right of the 2-dimensional plane area. This can be changed by clicking any of the buttons at the top of the selector.

Standalone Mode

The NPS Color Picker can be used on its own to perform color calculations and to detect on-screen colors. To open in standalone mode, find the "NPS Color Picker" entry in the Start menu.

When the dialog is in standalone mode, colors will not be stored anywhere. You will need to copy the color (as described in the next section) in order to use the calculated values in another application.

Displaying Color Values

There are two places that color values are displayed – a single value under the color preview, and individual channels. Both are configurable. See the list of color formats for more information about these.

Copying Color Values

You can quickly copy color values by double-clicking on the values on the right side of the window. For more advanced copying, click Edit > Copy Color Values and click on the item corresponding to the color format you prefer.

Color Modes

You can restrict the selectable colors to various color modes. This will prevent you from selecting a color value that does not fit. Most color selectors will likewise restrict their available choices to fit within the mode, but if this is not possible, a warning will be displayed and you can click it to update the dialog to the nearest valid color.

Dialog views

Two dialog views are available – Basic and Advanced.


The Basic view presents you with one color selector of choice. This allows you to quickly select a color without dealing with the clutter presented by the other selectors.


The Advanced view provides all of the features of the NPS Color Picker, including a navigation pane for choosing color selectors, menu bar, and textbox with descriptions of the current item.

Adding and Removing Color Selectors

NPS comes with several color selectors that are not enabled by default. To enable these, go to Settings > Manage Color Selectors. Check the ones you want displayed in the color dialog, and un-check the ones you don't.

You can also use this dialog to remove color selectors that you never use.