The task of developing a UI is difficult enough. If you are like me and have a red-green or blue-yellow color vision defect, the task becomes even more daunting. Fortunately, there are free tools available to help developers incorporate colors into their UIs.

One tool that a colleague tipped me off to recently is EyeDropper. This tool allows you to hover over any item on your screen to return the hex, decimal, or CMYK value of the associated color. What I appreciate most about EyeDropper is its magnification capabilities. I can hover over an “o” in 6pt, Times New Roman font in Microsoft Word and get separate return values for the letter type and the background.

Another useful tool for working with colors is ColorPic. Like EyeDropper, this tool can be used to hover over any object on your screen, with the associated colors shown as hex and decimal values. In addition, ColorPic allows you to edit these values after making a selection and to save multiple color palettes, which is helpful if you want to reuse certain color values.

There are many more tools that you can use to assist in the color-picking process, but these two should help you get started.