Regular readers to TeraTalks may recall my lifelong desire to become a nationally recognized graphic designer. I have all the tools– from Mac to Photoshop and every utility in between. What I really needed to reach my career goal is someone else’s genes.
Color blindness runs in the family so at least I have a gene pool to blame. But that also means I need other tools to determine exactly which color I’m using at the moment on my Mac. There are tools such as Sim Daltonism and Red Stripe which help those of us who are color challenged. Here’s another one. It’s called Color Compass.
What you get is a small toolbar app which always stays on top of the Mac’s screen. When you need to work with a specific color then ColorCompass tells you what the color is. With words.
Those of us with a color affliction have trouble identifying specific colors or combinations and ColorCompass points the way to an exact or nearly exact color using 10 simple names to describe whatever color we may be using. The color naming is automatic.
Even the built-in magnifying loupe displays both the color value and the color name so you’ll know the range of color instantly, yet keep the colors you use accurate and consistent.
What’s not to like?
The built-in color picker handles the basic RGB color formats as well as advanced color spaces including CMYK, LAB/LCH (lightness, chrome, hue) and others. There’s even a simple history of recently picked colors. While ColorCompass runs on top of your Mac’s screen and makes itself available all the time, there’s a simple Pause button to put it out of the way when you’re working on your Mac and not engaged in any kind of color requirement.
While ColorCompass isn’t fee it isn’t expensive, either, especially when you consider what it does for those of us color impaired. There’s an iPhone and iPad version, too. And if you want to test the level of your color blindness, the website has a simple test to get you started.
Those of us from the wrong gene pool can still engage in graphic design and photo enhancement because the Mac has many tools which help; not just Photoshop, but utilities that can take the guesswork out of color matching.