|The ColorCache software program is the webmaster's best friend. For some time now I have been looking for an easy and fast way to develop color schemes for the web sites that I create. I wanted a software program that would let me experiment with colors right on my computer screen much like I mix my watercolor paints in my paint palette. The other day I found a software program that does just that. And best of all it is free.* ColorCache is a color picker and palette management tool brought to you by Technology Lighthouse.|
Here is how it works. You start with the color or colors that you want to build your palette around. On the program workspace you will see a digital color swatch for each of these color(s). These are your source colors and from these colors you build the rest of the color palette based on our old friend the color wheel. The program generates color swatches for the respective analogous, complementary, split complementary and equidistant colors. The feature that I found most helpful was the Contrast Ramp which generates a range of color swatches based on your source colors. Each swatch is like an individual step of a color gradient. From this point you can refine your colors further by manipulating the hue, saturation and lightness using slider bars.
As you create the color palette for your webpage, you can drag and drop color swatches from the Palette Builder dialog box onto your digital palette. You can also use a Dropper tool which has a magnifying glass to "grab" a color from anywhere on your computer screen. You can then preview the palette in your web browser. This is a great feature for webmasters because you not only see the colors side-by-side but also the HTML color codes for each of the colors.
Going back to the program workspace, you can right click on any color swatch and copy/paste the HTML color code for that color directly into your webpage code. You can also save your new color palette in three formats; Photoshop Color Swatch (.aco), Photoshop Color Table (.act) and XML file (.xml).
* Screen shots reprinted by permission from Technology Lighthouse. ColorCache is FREE for personal, educational and non-commercial use.