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Hex Codes in Photoshop?

Participant ,
May 03, 2017

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Hello!

I'm currently trying to follow a Bob Ross painting video (yes, I am that bad, but he makes it so much easier) and he lists the colors he uses at the start of the video. I have all of the hex codes for that supposed "exact" color in terms of digital art, but I can't find where to enter it in photoshop. Could anybody give me a hand? Thanks!

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Correct answer by Semaphoric | Adobe Community Professional

It's at the bottom of the Color Picker:

    

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Hex Codes in Photoshop?

Participant ,
May 03, 2017

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Hello!

I'm currently trying to follow a Bob Ross painting video (yes, I am that bad, but he makes it so much easier) and he lists the colors he uses at the start of the video. I have all of the hex codes for that supposed "exact" color in terms of digital art, but I can't find where to enter it in photoshop. Could anybody give me a hand? Thanks!

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Correct answer by Semaphoric | Adobe Community Professional

It's at the bottom of the Color Picker:

    

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May 03, 2017 0
Adobe Community Professional ,
May 03, 2017

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It's at the bottom of the Color Picker:

    

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May 03, 2017 0
Adobe Community Professional ,
May 03, 2017

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Hex is not "exact". People believe that, but it's a misunderstanding. In reality it's just a different notation for RGB values.

If you want exact, hex color is subject to the same requirements for proper color management. A given hex number is undefined until you assign a color space to that number. Only then does it refer to a specific color.

However, a safe assumption with hex is that it refers to sRGB. Hexadecimal notation has its origin before modern color management, and it was used as a convenient way to refer to screen colors.

The only reason I can think of why hex has survived, is that it has a geeky, computerish sound to it. It sounds like it should be accurate. Today it's really outdated.

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May 03, 2017 2
New Here ,
Jun 23, 2019

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While it is true that hex codes do not encode "all" colours, they do contain every colour that your screen can do, assuming that you don't have a non-sRGB monitor. A hex code has the possibility of 16,777,216‬ different colours and survives because it is incredibly useful in many applications in computing and web design. Saying that its outdated is like saying that the PNG image format is outdated; they were both created in 1996.

All for all, I bet that you cant give me a format for exchanging exact colours as compact and universally understood as hex codes. If I tell someone that something has a colour of #4b25c3 then it is quite commonly understood. Probably much to your dismay, the hex code will live on.

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Jun 23, 2019 0
Adobe Community Professional ,
Jun 23, 2019

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You misunderstand. It's not that hex isn't used; it's that it's undefined. Hex came into use before modern color management, as a convenient way to refer to screen colors. That was all one could do back then.

Hex is just RGB with a base 16 notation, instead of base 10. Otherwise it's the same.

Hex DE7518 produces one color in sRGB; a completely different color in Adobe RGB. Try it for yourself.

The problem is that hex still carries the expectation that it refers to a certain, specific color. That's how it has historically been used, and that's how people still use it. But it doesn't! It was just the best they had back then. That's why it's outdated. Color management uses RGB notation.

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Jun 23, 2019 2
Adobe Community Professional ,
Jun 23, 2019

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Oh, one more thing:

I wrote in #2 that it is a "safe assumption" that hex numbers refer to sRGB. Actually that's not right. It's a much safer assumption that hex is used without any color management at all. So it doesn't refer to sRGB; it refers to monitor color.

And that removes any reference whatsoever. Your monitor color is different from mine. Your hex color is not what I see on my monitor.

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Jun 23, 2019 2
Adobe Community Professional ,
Jun 24, 2019

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Yes there are some common misconceptions about hex codes that are unfortunately promulgated by various colour conversion websites.

Take hex # e40903. Without specifying a color space you might as well say 'reddish'. It is no more accurate than quoting RGB 228,09,03 which is the same number just in decimal notation and equally meaningless without the color space context.

It would be a bit like going into an art store and asking for tube number 233 without specifying which manufacturer and range of paint you want tube number 233 from. You will get a colour but not necessarily the same colour as I would get doing the same in my local store who sell a different range.

Once put into the context of a particular colour space e.g. sRGB then the two numbers 228,09,03 or expressed in hex e40903 do then refer to a specific colour.

Dave

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Jun 24, 2019 1
Explorer ,
Oct 22, 2020

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This is helpful. I would note, however, that when programming CSS code and specifying color, Hex code still must be used and is used thus if you are designing a composition or scheme for what ultimately will be part of a web site (as in an HTML 'page' controlled re styles by CSS), specifying color via Hex code still would be a better way to go than simply using RGB sliders. It is for this reason that both as a professor and a teacher in K12 classrooms that when I teach digital image making and manipulating of all varieties (from painting to drawing to graphic design to simply 'coding' to motion graphics), I still require students utilize Hex code or at least fully understand enough such that they are equipped to choose whether or not to use it in compositing and just plain creating cool stuff.

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Oct 22, 2020 0
Adobe Community Professional ,
Oct 22, 2020

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It is not the use of a Hex code that is bad, it is just three numbers after all, and a very quick way of expressing those three numbers. What is wrong is the expectation that a Hex code refers to a specific colour. It does not. Any numeric representation of a colour be it in base 2, base 10 , base 16 or base 123 will only refer to a specific colour when used in the context of a specific colour space.

So no problem with use of Hex codes as such, I programmed in hexadecimal using "machine code" instructions many years ago, it's just when they are misrepresented as being more accurate than any other number that I frown 🙂

 

Dave

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Oct 22, 2020 0
New Here ,
Jul 13, 2020

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In the Photoshop 2020 this lovely hex code in the bottom has disappear and I wonder why? I really need this  when I'm working with the color.

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Jul 13, 2020 0
Adobe Community Professional ,
Jul 13, 2020

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Are you working in 8 bit or 16 bits/channel ?

If you are in 32 bit linear then a different colour picker is used and hex codes would be completely meaningless in such a colour space.

 

Dave

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Jul 13, 2020 0
New Here ,
Jul 13, 2020

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I am working in 8 bits/ channel.

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Jul 13, 2020 0
Adobe Community Professional ,
Jul 13, 2020

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Please show a screenshot of the color picker as you are seeing it

Dave

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Jul 13, 2020 0
New Here ,
Jul 13, 2020

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hexcodemissing.jpg

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Jul 13, 2020 0
Adobe Community Professional ,
Jul 13, 2020

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That is not the color picker.

 

Click here :

davescm_0-1594637883465.png

 

 

Then you will see this

davescm_1-1594637933676.png

Dave

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Jul 13, 2020 0
jane-e LATEST
Adobe Community Professional ,
Oct 22, 2020

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In addition to being at the bottom of the Color Picker, you can use the Color panel and set the sliders to Web Color Sliders to get Hexadecimal. Note that you can then copy the code from the menu and paste it into your web application.

 

~ Jane

jane-e_0-1603411873008.png

 

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Oct 22, 2020 0