Click here to Skip to main content
13,042,421 members (131,161 online)
Click here to Skip to main content
Add your own
alternative version


34 bookmarked
Posted 1 Jun 2000

A Color Picker For Your Desktop or Internet Explorer Window

, 3 Jun 2000
Rate this:
Please Sign up or sign in to vote.
A Color Picker that sits in IE or on the Desktop, Requires IE4+
<!-- Link to demo file download -->
  • Color Picker Tool - 228 Kb
  • <!-- Article image -->

    Logo - RBColorPicker.gif

    <!-- Add the rest of your HTML here -->

    Screen Shots


    Acessing through IE Menus - access1.gif Accessing through IE Toolbars - access2.gif Accessing through Desktop Toolbars - access3.gif

    In Use

    (Shows Docking to Desktop, Floating on Desktop, In IE as Toolbar)

    In Internet Explorer - toolbar.gif In Internet Explorer (Shows Delete Capability) - toolbar2.gif

    Color Picker docked to desktop - deskbanddoc.gif

    Color Picker floating on desktop - deskband.gif


    Why create another utility that will grab colors off the desktop? For a few simple reasons.

    • It is FREE.
    • Did not want screen space to be obstructed or to have a window that required to be moved around the screen to be used effectively, ie. Docking Toolbar.
    • Wanted a color history pallette.
    • Wanted it to be a click away.
    • Wanted it to be light wieght, compact, and efficent.
    • Did not want a large User Interface.

    All of these reasons are implemented in version 1.0.

    System Requirements

    • Windows NT/2000: Requires Windows 2000 (or Windows NT 4.0 with Internet Explorer 4.0 or later).
    • Windows 95/98: Requires Windows 98 (or Windows 95 with Internet Explorer 4.0 or later).


    • Has a history pallette.
    • Can delete items off the pallette with the context menu.
    • Can dock the window to all sides of the Desktop.
    • Can float the window on the Desktop.
    • Works with Internet Explorer 4+.
    • Works under Windows 95, 98, 98SE, NT4, 2000
    • Takes up space already used by existing applications, Taskbar and Internet Explorer Toolbars.

    Known Issues

    • History does not save when using the Desktop version.
    • Multiple instances of Internet Explorer do not share the same color history
    • Grabbing colors requires the left mouse button to be held, preventing hot buttons from activating which prevents users from grabbing colors of hot buttons.
    • Second chevron drop down does nothing. This feature will be implemented in the next version.
    • Desktop docking version does not dock properly to left and right sides of screen.
    • Can't enter color value into edit box and have color value added to history or be displayed.

    Technologies Used

    • COM (IOleWindow, IDockingWindow, IObjectWithSite, IDeskBand, IPersist, IPersistStream, IDispatch)
    • ATL (CWindowImpl)
    • DeskBand ATL Object Wizard

    The Package

    The zip file above contains a MSI file containing the DLL and the helpfile. When it is installed using the Microsoft Installer, it will register the component for the desktop and as a toolbar inside Internet Explorer. The helpfile is accessible through Start | Programs | RadBytes | Color Picker. If you are under Windows 2000, you can uninstall it through Add/Remove Programs in the Control Panel. For those of you that do not yet have Microsoft Installer installed, I will be putting a EXE install version up on my website as soon as the router tables are updated. Or you can email me, and I will send you the EXE install version.

    Closing Remarks

    I created this component, because I wasn't completely happy with what was available and because I learned a lot from developing it. I wanted everything I implemented and more (next version). It is also something that any novice can use to experienced web developer; without getting a headache trying to use it. I hope someone out there finds this useful, let me know your comments. In the next version I hope to provide XML support, import/export abilities, additional pallettes and more. Enjoy!!!


    This article has no explicit license attached to it but may contain usage terms in the article text or the download files themselves. If in doubt please contact the author via the discussion board below.

    A list of licenses authors might use can be found here


    About the Author

    Erik Thompson
    Web Developer
    United States United States
    Erik lives in Redmond, Washington. He works as a Senior Software Engineer specializing in C++, COM, ATL and the middle-tier and now .NET. When he isn't coding for work, he can be found trying to extend Internet Explorer with yet another Desk band or simplifying his development process with ATL Object Wizards.

    He spends his free time snowboarding, mountain biking, and online gaming.

    You may also be interested in...


    Comments and Discussions

    GeneralCould you help me,Eric Pin
    thompson27-Aug-02 19:05
    memberthompson27-Aug-02 19:05 
    GeneralRe: Could you help me,Eric Pin
    Erik Thompson13-Nov-03 6:49
    sitebuilderErik Thompson13-Nov-03 6:49 
    GeneralToolbar needed in IE client area Pin
    talex31-Jul-02 3:40
    susstalex31-Jul-02 3:40 
    GeneralToolbar needed in IE client area Pin
    talex31-Jul-02 3:37
    susstalex31-Jul-02 3:37 
    GeneralHelp needed Pin
    Chob25-Apr-02 1:06
    memberChob25-Apr-02 1:06 
    GeneralRe: Help needed Pin
    Erik Thompson25-Apr-02 8:33
    sitebuilderErik Thompson25-Apr-02 8:33 
    GeneralWndProc for Toolbar Pin
    Heath30-Nov-01 6:24
    memberHeath30-Nov-01 6:24 
    GeneralImplementing MSHTML Control Pin
    Heath22-Jun-01 8:42
    memberHeath22-Jun-01 8:42 
    GeneralRe: Implementing MSHTML Control Pin
    Erik Thompson29-Jun-01 8:37
    memberErik Thompson29-Jun-01 8:37 
    GeneralRe: Implementing MSHTML Control Pin
    Heath17-Aug-01 11:59
    memberHeath17-Aug-01 11:59 
    Generalsource code Pin
    Amit Dey19-Apr-01 6:57
    memberAmit Dey19-Apr-01 6:57 
    GeneralRe: source code Pin
    Erik Thompson19-Apr-01 7:14
    memberErik Thompson19-Apr-01 7:14 
    GeneralRe: source code Pin
    Amit Dey19-Apr-01 10:35
    memberAmit Dey19-Apr-01 10:35 
    QuestionWhat's It For? Pin
    Brian Hart19-Nov-00 19:04
    memberBrian Hart19-Nov-00 19:04 
    QuestionArticle Rating and Reasons? Pin
    Erik Thompson5-Jun-00 13:54
    sussErik Thompson5-Jun-00 13:54 
    AnswerRe: Article Rating and Reasons? Pin
    Ben8-Jun-00 21:13
    sussBen8-Jun-00 21:13 
    GeneralRe: Article Rating and Reasons? Pin
    Ralph Krausse15-Jun-00 8:50
    sussRalph Krausse15-Jun-00 8:50 
    GeneralRe: Article Rating and Reasons? Pin
    Brian Hart19-Nov-00 19:07
    memberBrian Hart19-Nov-00 19:07 
    GeneralRe: Article Rating and Reasons? Pin
    Diez11-Dec-01 1:44
    memberDiez11-Dec-01 1:44 
    QuestionWth is the source code? Pin
    Varun Shoor4-Jun-00 3:25
    sussVarun Shoor4-Jun-00 3:25 
    AnswerRe: Wth is the source code? Pin
    Erik Thompson4-Jun-00 10:08
    sussErik Thompson4-Jun-00 10:08 

    General General    News News    Suggestion Suggestion    Question Question    Bug Bug    Answer Answer    Joke Joke    Praise Praise    Rant Rant    Admin Admin   

    Use Ctrl+Left/Right to switch messages, Ctrl+Up/Down to switch threads, Ctrl+Shift+Left/Right to switch pages.

    Permalink | Advertise | Privacy | Terms of Use | Mobile
    Web02 | 2.8.170713.1 | Last Updated 4 Jun 2000
    Article Copyright 2000 by Erik Thompson
    Everything else Copyright © CodeProject, 1999-2017
    Layout: fixed | fluid