Color panel overview

The Color panel (Window > Color) displays the color values for the current foreground and background colors. Using the sliders in the Color panel, you can edit the foreground and background colors using different color models. You can also choose a foreground or background color from the spectrum of colors displayed in the color ramp at the bottom of the panel.

Photoshop Color panel
Color panel

A. Foreground color B. Background color C. Slider D. Color ramp 

The Color panel may display the following alerts when you select a color:

  • An exclamation point inside a triangle  appears above the left side of the color ramp when you choose a color that cannot be printed using CMYK inks.

  • A square  appears above the left side of the color ramp when you choose a color that is not web-safe.

Change the color model of the Color panel sliders

  1. Choose a Sliders option from the Color panel menu.

Change the spectrum displayed in the Color panel

  1. Choose an option from the Color panel menu:
    • RGB Spectrum, CMYK Spectrum, or Grayscale Ramp to display the spectrum of the specified color model.

    • Current Colors to display the spectrum of colors between the current foreground color and the current background color.

  2. To display only web‑safe colors, choose Make Ramp Web Safe.


    To change the spectrum of the color ramp quickly, Shift-click in the color ramp until you see the spectrum you want.

Select a color in the Color panel

  1. In the Color panel, click the foreground or background color box to make it active (outlined in black).


    When the background color box is active in the Color panel, the Eyedropper tool changes the background color by default.

  2. Do one of the following:
    • Drag the color sliders. By default, the slider colors change as you drag. You can turn off this feature to improve performance by deselecting Dynamic Color Sliders in the General section of the Preferences dialog box.

    • Enter values next to the color sliders.

    • Click the color selection box, choose a color using the Color Picker, and click OK.

    • Position the pointer over the color ramp (the pointer becomes the eyedropper), and click to sample a color. Alt-click to apply the sample to the non-active color selection box.

Select a color in the Swatches panel

The Swatches panel (Window > Swatches) stores colors that you use often. You can add or delete colors from the panel or display different libraries of colors for different projects.

  • To choose a foreground color, click a color in the Swatches panel.
  • To choose a background color, Ctrl-click (Windows) or Command-click (Mac OS) a color in the Swatches panel.


Change how swatches are displayed by choosing an option from the Swatches panel menu.

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