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Colors for the Mac

The standard System Color picker for the Mac looks somewhat different. It offers several different tools for selecting colors: Color Wheel, Color Slider, Color Palette, Image Palette, and Crayons. You can use any of these tools by clicking on that category at the top of the dialog box.

You open the Mac Color dialog box the same way you do the Windows one: On the Color picker, click on the Color Wheel button ( Figure 3.66 ).

Using the Crayon picker

The easiest Color picker to use is the Crayon picker ( Figure 3.67 ). You can choose from preselected colors.


Figure 3.67 The Crayon picker, in the Color dialog box for the Mac. Click on a crayon to choose a color.

To use the Crayon picker

  • Click on a crayon in the box. The color that you choose will appear in the New color swatch, and its cutesy name will appear in the Name area.

The Web-Safe Color Palette picker

You can select a color in any picker and make it a Web Safe Colors option inside the Color Palette category.

To use the Web-safe Color Palette picker

  1. When you click on the Color Palettes category button, the Color Palette picker will appear. From there, choose Web Safe Colors from the drop-down list ( Figure 3.68 ). This will display the closest Web-safe color to any prior color selection. To change to the Web-safe color, click on it.

    Figure 3.68 The Web Safe Color Palette picker, in the Color dialog box for the Mac.

  2. To change colors within the Web-safe continuum, scroll up or down within the list. The hex color combination will display next to the color you've selected.

The Color Wheel picker

The standard Color picker that's most similar to the Windows Color dialog box is the Color Wheel picker ( Figure 3.69 ).


Figure 3.69 The Color Wheel picker on the Mac is the closest it gets to the Windows Color picker.

To use the Color Wheel picker

  1. Click on the Color Wheel category at the top of the Color Picker window.
  2. To adjust the brightness, move the vertical slider on the right-hand side up or down.
  3. To adjust the hue, click anywhere within the color wheel. Repeat Steps 2 and 3 until you have the color you want.

About the Color Sliders

The Color Sliders category contains four different options for picking a color: Gray Scale, RGB, CMYK, and HSB. HSB stands for hue, saturation, and brightness. For those of you unversed in color theory, a hue is a specific named color, such as blue or red; the saturation is the difference between a given tone and the nearest gray; and the brightness is the relative lightness (tint) or darkness (shade) of the color.

To use the HSB picker

  1. Click on a color in the horizontal Hue slider. Your selection will be displayed in the New color box.
  2. Adjust the Brightness slider bar to make the color lighter (towards 100) or darker (towards 0) ( Figure 3.70 ).

    Figure 3.70 The HSB (Hue Saturation Brightness) picker, in the Color dialog box for the Mac.

  3. Adjust the Saturation slider bar (or click on a color) to increase or decrease the saturation.
  4. You can fine-tune any of the values by typing a number in its text box.

The Gray Scale picker ( Figure 3.71 ) lets you choose only shades of gray; the slider is simply the percentage of brightness.


Figure 3.71 The Gray Scale picker, in the Color dialog box for the Mac, forces you to choose only shades of gray.

RGB and CMYK are two ways of measuring color by its components. RGB is used commonly for digital images, whereas CMYK is used for four-color printing. RGB is red-green-blue; those are the primary components of white in visible light, like on a computer screen (as opposed to paint, where we think of the primaries as red, blue, and yellow). The CMYK scale is cyan, magenta, yellow, and black; these are the primary colors for ink, and most color graphics are printed using layers of these colors.

In both RGB ( Figure 3.72 ) and CMYK ( Figure 3.73 ), all colors can be represented by how much of each primary color they contain. You'll mostly want to use these pickers if you have the color values already—from Photoshop or Fireworks, for example. On the Macintosh, CMYK values will be in percentage values rather than numerals.


Figure 3.72 The RGB picker (again in the Mac Color dialog box) uses the Red-Green-Blue values of visible light.

In any case, you can type values in a color's text box or use the sliders to increase or decrease the amount of each primary color.

Now you've got the basics. In this chapter you've made and saved a Web page, previewed it in a browser, and printed it. Plus, you've probably learned just about everything you need to know about Web color. Now let's move on to each of the various features and tools in Dreamweaver one topic at a time.

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