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.
You can also paste the picture in PowerPoint and use the eyedropper there: https://support.office.com/en-us/article/Use-Eyedropper-to-match-colors-on-your-slide-d5e7a32a-da6c-4bed-9f1e-8797f07174e9
Thanks for the hint. I just tried it and learned something new.
Yes, in newer versions. When did they add the eyedropper, in the 2010 or 2013 version? I know it’s been there a while now. I gave a workshop a couple weeks ago where staff were still using Office 2003 products. Yikes. And it’s fairly common to see 2007 or 2010 software. Luckily there are workarounds, like using Paint, for just about everything.
Paint is a wonderfully simple and robust product. I just finished a report where I needed to shrink the file size of pictures, and paint made it pretty simple. I am NOT a graphic design expert. All I did was open the picture in Paint and shrink the picture size; I literally selected Resize and shrunk the size of the picture. This did what I can’t seem to figure out on all the other graphics packages I own.
Matt, I used Paint just today to figure out the size of my image in pixels! Great tool.
Thank you for this tip. Paint has been my go to for photo editing for years, but I learned something new today.
FYI. Microsoft Paint will only be available via the Windows store in the future. They’re nixing it as part of the default Windows package. https://blogs.windows.com/windowsexperience/2017/07/24/ms-paint-stay/
Christina, that means it doesn’t come pre-downloaded anymore, right? My understanding is that it won’t magically appear on our computers right when we buy them from the store, but that we can visit the Windows store for a free download. Side note: Do you remember the pinball game? And solitaire??
I believe so. It won’t be a part of the set package people get with newer versions of Windows. Kind of a tragedy since I use Microsoft Paint for a variety of tasks. :/ Pinball game forever!
[…] Learn how to read your organization’s style guide, locate your color codes with an eyedropper, or locate your color codes with Microsoft Paint. Then, enter your color codes in Excel or in […]
THANX! I was trying to find what would be truly ‘bronze’, and could not make up my mind from just looking at how the colors came out. Using a bronze statue from a Paint picture helped out fantastically, and gave me a range of ways to establish it.
(For my homemade 32nd anniversary card! 😉)