Microsoft: Windows 10 PowerToys 0.20 gets this new color picker for front-end developers

Front-end developers will soon have a new PowerToys tool to help quickly identify the color of images on screen.
Written by Liam Tung, Contributing Writer

Microsoft this week will release a new color picker utility for PowerToys, the Windows 95 power-user feature it rebooted as an open-source project for Windows 10 last year

The project behind PowerToys has been steadily releasing new utilities over the past few months, including the new app launcher, PowerToys Run, which can be accessed by typing Alt+Space.     

The upcoming screen Color Picker utility should be available on July 31, according to Microsoft PowerToys contributor Clint Rutkas

SEE: Cheat sheet: Windows 10 PowerToys (free PDF) (TechRepublic)

The color picker will be available in PowerToys version 0.20, which should also fix problems with PowerToys Run, noted Rutkas. 

Color Picker is billed as a "quick and simple system-wide color picker" that can be enabled in Settings or with the shortcut Ctrl + Break.

The feature is for front-end developers who've asked for an easy way to find out what color an object on screen is. As user-experience designer Niels Laute explains in a blogpost, he needs to extract colors from images every day and the process is "pretty cumbersome", involving taking a screenshot, opening an image editor, picking the color and manually copying the HEX or RGB value in the right format.  

The pull request for the feature details the basic functionality the Color Picker module provides. After being activated with a shortcut, the color picker follows the mouse cursor and shows the color that's below the cursor. 

Scrolling up opens the Zoom Windows to help developers pick the right color, while a left mouse click will copy the color into a clipboard in a format predefined in Settings. The module also caters to multiple monitor setups as well as multiple dots per inch (DPI). 

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Rutkas is also working on bringing PowerToys support to the Arm-based Surface Pro X, which is now listed as a key milestone for the PowerToys 1.0 release. Unfortunately for Surface Pro X owners, there's no date for its release. 

Once released, the Color Picker module will join other PowerToys utilities such as FancyZones for creating custom window layouts, Image Resizer, Keyboard Manager for custom keyboard shortcuts, and the bulk file renaming tool, PowerRename. 


The new Color Picker feature is aimed at giving front-end developers an easy way to identify the color of an object on screen.

Image: Microsoft
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