Microsoft PowerPoint 2010 includes many useful new features that make it easy for users to do everything they need to do from within the program. We can now edit images, audio clips, and even video without ever opening another application. While these editing capabilities are fairly limited, they are still extremely handy when you are trying to get a slide show out the door quickly.
Considering their efforts to include all the basic tools that a designer could ever need, I am really surprised that Microsoft has not integrated some type of color picker tool into their user interface. I can’t count the number of times over the past 5 years when I have needed to identify and replicate a specific color used in a slide show. Yes, I am a power user, and yes, I do create far more presentations than the average Joe, but I feel certain that even novice users may occasionally have this need.
While it isn’t difficult to open Photoshop, or another image editing application, and to use the tools available to identify a color’s hexadecimal code or RGB values, it takes time. I want everything to be quick and easy! ( :
I guess that is why I was so excited when I recently discovered a handy little utility called Pixie. The program is free, easy to download and use, and it provides accurate color information, not only for use with PowerPoint, but for use with any application that doesn’t have its own built-in color picker.
To use this tool, simply download it from http://www.nattyware.com/pixie.php. It is offered as a portable application, in a ZIP archive, or as source code. The first two options are free, but if you want to use the source code, it is necessary to purchase it.
If you download the portable application, you don’t have to install it. You simply double-click on the .exe file when you are ready to use it. An Open File – Security Warning dialog box will appear. Click on the Run button,and a small box will appear on your screen that looks something like this:
To use the utility, all you have to do is point to an item on your screen and this box will provide the color information for it. As you can see, this app will provide the hexadecimal code for the selected pixel, the RGB, HTML, CMYK and HSV values of that color, and it also tells you exactly where the pixel is located on your screen (x and y coordinates).
When working with PowerPoint 2010, you can use Pixie to get the color information for the item you are trying to match. Then you can select the line, shape, etc., that you want to recolor, click on the Format tab on the Ribbon, and then click the Fill Color drop-down arrow.
Next, click on “More Fill Colors…” at the bottom of the menu. The Colors dialog box appears.
Make sure the Custom tab is active, and put the color information from Pixie into the fields at the bottom of the dialog box. Click the OK button, and your items should now be exactly the same color.