Classic Color Meter is a enhanced color meter replacement with added functionality:

• Display modes
    • RGB percentage
    • RGB decimal
    • RGB hexadecimal
    • Hue/Saturation/Brightness (HSB)
    • Hue/Saturation/Lightness (HSL)
    • Y'PbPr and Y'CbCr
    • CIE 1931, CIE 1976, CIE LAB, and Tristimulus values
• Commands
    • Lock cursor position / X axis / Y axis
    • Adjust magnification (1x/2x/4x/8x)
    • Adjust aperture size
    • Show/hide cursor coordinates
    • Update preview continuously
    • Hold Color (allows editing of color in RGB and HSB modes)
    • Save/Copy preview image
    • Copy Color as Text, Image, or as a NSColor/UIColor/HTML/CSS code snippet
    • Paste Text as color
• Preferences
    • Adjust aperture color
    • Assign actions for clicking/dragging the color swatch
    • Use lower-case letters for hex values
    • Include pound sign prefix for hex values
    • Show visual guides when locking cursor position
    • Show component sliders when in Hold Color mode
    • Assign global keyboard shortcuts
    • Move mouse cursor with arrow keys

Regarding ColorSync issues reported in a few reviews:

All color meter utilities in OS X see the RGB values sent to the display. These RGB values are in the display's color space. You should use "Show as sRGB" or "Show as Display P3" to convert all values into a standard color space.

No color meter utility can see the raw RGB values inside of an image file, as they will have undergone at least one color space conversion by the time they reach the display buffer. The only way to accurately sample the original raw values is to open the image in an editor and use that editor's native color picker or eyedropper tool (for example, the Adobe Color Picker in Photoshop).

For more information about color meters and color space conversion, select Help from the menu bar and then "Learn about Color Conversion" or visit

What's New

Version 2.0.1

This major update relocates and simplifies several settings.

New installations of Classic Color Meter will disable the following infrequently-used color spaces and conversions. They can be re-enabled via the check boxes in the Advanced preference pane.

- RGB, decimal, 16-bit
- RGB, hex, 16-bit
- Show as Generic RGB
- Convert to main display
- Y'PbPr ITU-R BT.601
- Y'PbPr ITU-R BT.709
- Y'CbCr ITU-R BT.601
- Y'CbCr ITU-R BT.709
- CIE 1931
- CIE 1976
- Tristimulus

Additional changes and fixes:
• Support for Dark Mode and several compatibility fixes for macOS Mojave.
• Improved energy efficiency and CPU usage.
• The "Aperture Color" preferences is now "Aperture Outline" in the "View" menu.
• The "Show guides when locking position" preference is now "Show Lock Guides" in the "View" menu.
• The "When Classic Color Meter clips a color" preferences are now "Highlight out of range components in red" and "Clip out of range components to nearest value", located in the General preference pane.
• The "When the system clips a color" preferences have been removed. This feature is no longer accurate in recent versions of macOS.

Ratings and Reviews

5.0 out of 5
5 Ratings
5 Ratings
Adrian Perez Rivera ,

Must-have for videographers, photographers, web designers, and anyone working with color

I work a lot with RGB video archival and have relied heavily on the built-in Digital Color Meter for accuracy verification. Classic Color Meter takes that concept and supercharges it, giving you a bunch of extra features that significantly enhance the tool’s effectiveness. You can convert between multiple monitor profiles, view 16-bit RGB, hold a color and convert it to another space, float the window above everything else, see when a color conversion is happening, and a lot more. It even uses less CPU than Digital Color Meter. If you’re wondering if it’s worth using over the free built-in utility, the answer is a solid yes.

Value_Arb ,

Excellent utility

Every developer should have a copy so you know exactly what color that designer wants you to reproduce. A bargain at $3, should cost more like $30.

jgreutman ,

BEWARE: Values are post Color Profile (ColorSync)

Great functionality, great features. But the only issue I have is that the colors represented here are after the color profile has been applied. I don't know if this is just an impossibility to get it to be the actual color of the image or what, but I bought this program because I thought it would compensate for the monitor profile. It does not; it gives me the exact same colors as the native Lion Digital Color Meter utility.

Example: I have a two monitor setup. Each monitor has a different color profile. While working on a webpage, I set the background color of an element to be something simple, like #eeeeff. On one monitor, it reports the color as #ededff, and on the other #eeeefe. There are much more severe cases, that's just one example.

Fix this, and it gets five stars. For real.

Developer Response ,

It's impossible for any external application to see the original color values inside of an image, as they only have access to the display's image buffer. If you select "Learn about Color Conversion…" from the "Help" menu, you can view my article which attempts to explain how macOS color conversion works. Please contact me if you have additional questions!


Ricci Adams
682.6 KB
macOS 10.13 or later, 64-bit processor
Age Rating
Rated 4+
© 2011-2018, Ricci Adams


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