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ColorPicker - a jQuery UI Widget

, 28 Feb 2015 MIT
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A web color picker which looks like the one in Microsoft Office 2010.


This project is a web color picker which looks like the one in Microsoft Office 2010. It can be used inline or as a popup binded to a text box. It is a full jQuery UI widget, supporting various configurations and themes. 


The project and a live demo are hosted on GitHub

Using the code 

First, load jQuery (v1.7 or greater), jQuery UI (v1.8 or greater), and the widget code: 

<script src="" type="text/javascript" charset="utf-8"></script>
<script src="" type="text/javascript" charset="utf-8"></script>
<script src="js/evol.colorpicker.min.js" type="text/javascript" charset="utf-8"></script>

The widget requires a jQuery UI theme to be present, as well as its own included base CSS file "evol.colorpicker.css". Here we use the "ui-lightness" theme as an example:

<link rel="stylesheet" type="text/css" href="" />
<link href="css/evol.colorpicker.css" rel="stylesheet" type="text/css" />

Now, let's attach it to an existing <input> tag: 

<script type="text/javascript">
   $(document).ready(function() {
<input style="width:100px;" id="mycolor" />

This will wrap it into a "holder" <div> and add another <div> beside it for the color box:

<div style="width:128px;">
   <input style="width:100px;" id="mycolor" class="colorPicker evo-cp0" />
   <div class="evo-colorind" style="background-color:#8db3e2"></div>

Using the same syntax, the widget can also be instanciated on a <div> or a <span> tag to show inline. In that case the generated HTML is the full palette. 


evol.colorpicker provides options to customize its behavior:  

color (String)

Used to set the default color value. 

        color: "#ffffff"

Defaults to null.

defaultPalette (String)

Used to set the default color palette. Possible values are "theme" or "web".

        defaultPalette: 'web'

Defaults to theme.

displayIndicator (Boolean)

Used to show color value on hover and click inside the palette.

        displayIndicator: false

Defaults to true.

hideButton (Boolean)

Prevent a color button from beeing added to the textbox the colorpicker is bound to. 

        hideButton: true

Defaults to false.

history (Boolean)

Used to track selection history (shared among all instances of the colorpicker).

        history: false

Defaults to true.

showOn (String)

Have the colorpicker appear automatically when the field receives focus ("focus"), appear only when a button is clicked ("button"), or appear when either event takes place ("both").
This option only takes effect when the color picker is instanciated on a textbox. 

        showOn: "button"

Defaults to "both".

strings (String)

Used to translate the widget. It is a coma separated list of all labels used in the UI.

        strings: "Couleurs de themes,Couleurs de base,Plus de couleurs,Moins de couleurs"

Defaults to "Theme Colors,Standard Colors,Web Colors,Theme Colors.

transparentColor (Boolean)

Allow for selection of th "transparent color". The hexadecimal value for it is "#0000ffff".

        transparentColor: true

Defaults to false.



This event is triggered when a color is selected.

    $("#mycolor").on("change.color", function(event, color){
        $("#title").attr("style", "background-color:" + color);


This event is triggered when the mouse moves over a color box on the palette. 

    $("#mycolor").on("mouseover.color", function(event, color){
        $('#title').attr("style", "background-color:" + color);



Get the currently selected color value (returned as a string).



Get the currently selected color value (returned as a string).



Get the currently selected color value (returned as a string).

    var disabled = $("#mycolor").colorpicker("isDisabled");


Get or set the currently selected color value (as a string, ie. "#d0d0d0"). 

    var color = $("#mycolor").colorpicker("val");
    $("#mycolor").colorpicker("val", "#d0d0d0");


Show the palette (when using the widget as a popup).



Hide the palette (when using the widget as a popup).



evol.colorpicker is as easily themeable as any jQuery UI widget, using one of the jQuery UI themes or your own custom theme made with Themeroller.




Browser Support

evol.colorpicker.js has been tested for the following browsers:  

  • Internet Explorer 7+ 
  • Firefox 9+
  • Chrome 21+
  • Safari 5+  


 The latest code and a live demo are available at GitHub

  • Original post on 09/03/2012. 
  • Version 2.0 on 01/01/2013: Added options "displayIndicator" and "history" + some bug fixes. 
  • Version 2.1 on 02/17/2013: Not using $.browser anymore as it is not part of jQuery 1.9.
  • Version 2.2.1 on 09/07/2014: Compatibility w/ jQuery 2.x and bug fixes.
  • Version 2.2.2 on 09/20/2014: Small fixes.
  • Version 3.0.0 on 11/30/2014: Added option for transparent color.
  • Version 3.1.0 on 12/12/2014: Added option for default color palette.
  • Version 3.2.0 on 02/28/2015: Added option for color button near textbox.


This article, along with any associated source code and files, is licensed under The MIT License


About the Author

Olivier Giulieri

United States United States
I'm a UI engineer for a startup in California. What I really enjoy is to build tools to describe UI in metadata, store that metadata (outside of the code) in a database, XML or JSON, and then dynamically generate the UI at run-time based on that metadata... which I do with my open source project Evolutility.
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Comments and Discussions

GeneralMy vote of 5 PinmemberPrasyee10-Oct-12 20:09 
GeneralRe: My vote of 5 PinmemberOlivier Giulieri11-Oct-12 19:07 

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