How to Find Your Custom Color Codes with Paint

Sep 12th, 2017 / Data Visualization / , , , , ,

Lots of my workshop participants are government employees who don’t have or can’t find style guides and/or they’re not allowed to download eyedropper tools to locate color codes. Microsoft Paint to the rescue!

Hi! I am Matt Feldmann with Goshen Education Consulting in Southwestern Illinois (near St. Louis). Ann asked me to write this guest blog post to show you how to look up specific RGB color codes with a program you likely have already pre-installed on your computer–Microsoft Paint. Ann has previously discussed how to use an Instant eyedropper program to look up these color codes and how to use those codes to change your color scheme in Excel. If you are like me, you don’t like to download new software…and you don’t need to if you use Microsoft Windows.

Take a Screenshot and Paste It Into Paint

  • I use shortcut keys. Press: ALT+PRTSCN
  • Open MS Paint.
  • Paste your screen shot using either CTRL+V, right clicking on your mouse and selecting PASTE, or selecting the PASTE button in MS Paint.

The following is a pasted screenshot from an upcoming conference:

Use Color Picker to Identify a Color

Color Picker looks like an eyedropper and it is in the Tools section. It is identified below with my red arrow:

Select the Desired Color with the Eyedropper and Select Edit Colors

I selected the green color with the eyedropper and it automatically switched Color 1 to green.

Edit Colors is on the far right.

Record the RGB Codes for Future Use

The following is the screen that pops up when you edit colors. The Red, Green, Blue colors are on the right.

But wait–isn’t Paint dead? Apparently not. However, if you want to use the newer MS Paint 3D program (which is preloaded with Windows 10), there also is an eyedropper that records your RGB codes. As a bonus, it will also give you a Hex code.


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