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Revision Date: 27 August 2015

Colors Window

The Colors Window is used to set the Primary and Secondary colors and to manage palettes.

paint.net allows two colors to be selected, a Primary color and a Secondary color.  These may be considered 'slots' where any hue can be held for quick access. Many effects use both the Primary and Secondary color slots.

Colors Window Colors Window
  1. Primary/Secondary Color Selector

    The drop down list has two options to activate either the Primary or Secondary color slots.  Choosing an option activates the color slot. The color held in the slot will be used for subsequent editing operations.

    Tip

    Use the shortcut key C to quickly switch between Primary and Secondary colors.

  2. More » Button

    Click this button to expand the Colors Window to reveal detailed color information about the color held in the active color slot (Primary or Secondary). The entire palette of 96 colors will be visible in the expanded window.

    Expanded Colors Window Expanded Colors Window

    The RGB (Red, Green & Blue), HSV (Hue, Saturation & Value) and Opacity sliders are used to change the attributes of the color in the active color slot.

    Hexadecimal values for the color in the active color slot are displayed and are editable within the text box. New hex values can be pasted into the text box to generate a new color.

    In expanded mode, the More button is renamed "Less".  Clicking the button in this form returns the Colors Window to it's minimized (default) size.

  3. Current Color Selection

    The overlapping squares in the upper left of the Colors Window show the currently selected Primary (foreground square) and Secondary (background square) colors.

    Current Color Selection Icons Current Color Selection Icons

    The double headed arrow icon situated at the upper right of the Current Color Selection icon swaps the colors in the Primary and Secondary color slots.

    The black and white icon to the lower left of the Current Color Selection icon installs the default Black and White colors as Primary and Secondary color slots respectively. The keyboard shortcut for this icon is C.  Use this key to quickly swap the active color.

  4. Color Wheel

    The Color Wheel is used to make color selection to the currently active color slot. If the Primary color is active, clicking on the color wheel will install the color clicked on to the Primary color slot, and vice versa.

    Holding down the Ctrl key with the pointer in the Color Wheel limits color selections to the same radius as the currently selected color.  This is the same as changing the Hue (H) in the expanded Color Window's HSV section.

    Color Wheel + Ctrl Color Wheel modifier: Ctrl

    Holding down the Alt key with the pointer in the Color Wheel limits color selections to a single spoke in the Color Wheel.  The spoke will be generated through the current color.  This is the same as changing the Saturation (S) value in the expanded Color Window's HSV section.

    Color Wheel + Alt Color Wheel modifier: Alt

    Holding down the Shift key with the pointer in the Color Wheel limits color selections to specific spokes in the Color Wheel.  The current color may not be located on one of the spokes. This is the same as changing the Saturation (S) (changes on a single spoke) and/or Hue (H) (changes from spoke to spoke) in the expanded Color Window's HSV section.

    Color Wheel + Shift Color Wheel modifier: Shift
  5. Palette Controls

    These controls are used to manage palettes. For more information see the Working with Palettes section.

    Window Menu Palette Controls