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The Cyotek.Windows.Forms.ColorPickers library contains a series of custom controls and utility classes for Windows Forms applications that work with colours. Controls are available to allow colour selection via a HSL ColorWheel, a ColorGrid with many customisation options, a ColorEditor for entering colours via RGB or HSL, and a ScreenColorPicker for capturing colours from running applications.

Color palettes can be loaded and saved in a number of different formats, including Adobe PhotoShop Color Swatch files, JASC Palettes, Gimp Palettes and more (see Color Palettes and External Palette Files below).

For more information on these controls, see the articles tagged with colorpicker at


There are three primary controls (ColorGrid, ColorWheel and ColorEditor), along with 5 utility controls (ScreenColorPicker, RgbaColorSlider, HueColorSlider, LightnessColorSlider and SaturationColorSlider), a management component (ColorEditorManager) and one dialog (ColorPickerDialog). Combined together, these provide a decent array of tools for colour selection.

ColorGrid Control

ColorGrid control demonstration

This control displays a grid of colours, and supports both a primary palette, and a custom colour palette. Several properties are available for configuring the appearing of the control, and there are behaviour options too, such as built in editing of colours and support for automatically adding new colours not in the primary palette.

ColorWheel Control

ColorWheel control demonstration

This control displays a radial wheel of colours and allows selection from any point in the wheel. Not much in the way of customisation for this control!

ColorSlider Controls

ColorSlider controls demonstration

A bunch of controls (inheriting from a single base) that allow selection of values via a colourful bar. Similar to the TrackBar control you have a few options for specifying the drag handle's position and bar orientation.

ColorEditor Control

ColorEditor control demonstration

This control allows the editing of a RGB or HSL colour via a standard interface.

ScreenColorPicker Control

ScreenColorPicker control demonstration

This control allows the user to pick a colour from any pixel displayed on the screen.

ColorPickerDialog Form

ColorPickerDialog form demonstration

This form puts together the previous controls in a ready to use dialog.


This is a non-GUI component that you can drop onto a form, and bind to other controls in this library. When the Color property of one control changes, it is reflected in the others without having to lift a finger. Useful if you're creating composite displays from multiple controls.

Color Palettes and External Palette Files

The ColorGrid control has Colors and CustomColors properties which return a ColorCollection. These two properties make it easier as a developer to keep separate a primary palette whilst having the flexibility of custom colours, although it does complicate the control's internal logic a bit! The grid will automatically populate custom colours if you try and set the control's Color to a value not currently defined.

As well as manually populating ColorCollection instances, you can also load in external palette files. The following palette formats are supported:

  • Adobe Color Table (*.act)
  • Adobe PhotoShop Color Swatch (*.aco)
  • GIMP (*.gpl)
  • Deluxe Paint (*.bbm; *.lbm) [read only]
  • JASC (*.pal)
  • Paint.NET (*.txt)
  • Raw RGB Triplets (*.pal)

With the exception of the ILBM image format, all other formats can be exported as well as imported.

Additional palette serializers can be easily created by adding a class which implements IPaletteSerializer. The ColorPickerDialog (or any custom code using PaletteSerializer static methods) will automatically detect and make available custom palettes via reflection.

Keyboard Support

All GUI components, with the exception of the ScreenColorPicker include full keyboard/focus support. Many controls support SmallChange and LargeChange properties which influence how navigation keys are processed. Although in the case of the ColorWheel it's not really a bonus... but that's what the ColorEditor control is best suited for!

Related Reading

Known Issues

  • XML documentation comments are incomplete


Color picker control suite for Windows Forms applications.





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