Sharp Color Picker
About & How to use
I have seen quite a few online color pickers. But none of them are as full featured as Sharp Color Picker. It has an easly to use panel for just point and click for your noraml 16.7 million colors. It supports 140 color names, and the 216 browser safe colors for a wide range of easy to pick colors. For more advanced users it has controls for fine tweaking any colors created.
Red, Green and Blue
Red, Green and Blue are called the additive primary colors, that is those used when mixing light. The possible values range from 0 to 255. The hex value that is normally used in HTML/CSS works the same way, expect it works on a based 16 counting system represented by 0 to F. The first two characters (not counting #) is how much red is used, the next two green, and the last 2 blue.
Hue, Saturation and Brightness
The HSV or HSB system of represending color is favored by many people because it is much closer to how humans think of color. What color? How much? and how dark? It is much easier to guess what the color will be before checking, and hence easier to find the one you want. That is why the actual color picking devices use this method, not red, green and blue controls.
This uses a very primative color wheel, as best as can be done in HTML, to help select related colors from the current one.
Browser Safe Colors
Many years ago designers had to be carefull that the colors they chose would work on 256 color systems. Of these 216 were consistant between Windows and Mac becase they were generated by the same math formular, the other 40 being picked out to bring to total to 256 - a nice number in the world of binary. Though it is almost a non issure now, I still use them in the palette because they give an evenaly spaced set of colors that can serve as a starting point for finding the color you really want.