Apple Destroyed Digital Color Meter!

Digital Color Meter is a shell of its former self.

Digital Color Meter is a shell of its former self.

OMFG, I just launched Digital Color Meter for the first time since upgrading to Lion. Apple has utterly destroyed it!

The old DCM (Snow Leopard and earlier) was an incredibly useful little utility that allowed me to pick up any color from anywhere on the monitor, in any program, and get the hex value for that color. I could lock DCM onto any single pixel with command-L, copy the hex value to the clipboard, and paste it into a CSS file in my text editor.

No longer. Apple has removed that cabability. Now I can only get the RGB value. That means a trip to Photoshop to enter the RGB value and get the hex color.

The Hex Color Picker provides essentially the same functionality as Digital Color Meter

The Hex Color Picker is an alternative to the destroyed Digital Color Meter

But wait! There's more!

Now I need two — count 'em, two — keyboard commands, command-x followed by command-y — to freeze the cursor on the color I want.

AND copy-to-clipboard is apparently gone too.

What used to be a quick, simple operation has become a laborious task. Hover the cursor over the color I want. Command-X. Command-Y. Switch to Photoshop. Pull up Photoshop's color picker. Enter the R value, tab, enter the G value, tab, enter the B value. Click into the the hex color section, highlight, copy. Switch to my text editor. Finally, paste.

I tried copying over my DCM from Snow Leopard. It won't even launch.

If I can't find a suitable alternative, I might have to panic.

It boggles the mind when one considers that Apple paid someone to do this to Digital Color Meter.


  1. If you need Aperture Size or other 10.6 DCM features, you can try my app, Classic Color Meter, at

    The only features that I haven’t implemented are “Click in swatch copies color to clipboard” and “Drag in swatch drags out the color”. I couldn’t find any actual use cases for either of these. If you need them, let me know!

  2. You, sir, are a genius! I just shot $0.99 at you through the App Store to buy your Classic Color Meter, and it’s perfect! Perfect, I say! I could have lived with the alternative solution I found, but I do like the Aperture Size — it’s so much easier to get the exact pixel I want.

    Thank you for making this.

  3. You’re welcome! I’m glad you like it 🙂

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