“Objects in System.Reflection are closer than they appear.”
by Greg McCoy

Posts Tagged ‘Tools’

PicPick

PicPick (http://picpick.wiziple.net/)

As a developer and designer, a color picker is an integral part of my development utility arsenal. Many other features are boasted in this little utility, but a well-featured, reliable, easy to use, small footprint, and lightning fast color picker is the flagship.

Not only can you pick your color from the screen easily by assigning a hotkey or using the system tray icon, PicPick will store your previous colors (in session) so you don’t have to go back and find it again.

Output options cover the basics pretty well, but could make use of some .NET (“Color.FromArgb()”) or “named” (“Firebrick”) color options if we’re opening up to the coding. Currently, PicPick supports HTML, RGB(), C++, and Delphi output.

The other tools are nice as well. They mostly all create function screen overlays that would assist designers and developers with measurements.

There is a very nicely thought out pixel ruler that you actually place on the objects you’re measuring, as opposed to most “rulers” that you have to click twice and hope you landed where you meant to.

There’s also a magnifying glass that’s movable, sizable, and supports up to 10x zooming. Some of the other tools have a built-in magnifier, so I’ve not used this a lot.

If you need positional details, there’s a cross-hair that simply tells you your X and Y on the screen. I haven’t really found any other features (or many uses) for this, but since it doesn’t hurt the application to have it, I’m not complaining.

PicPick even has a protractor. Yep, now you have what you need to get your angles right (yes, all pun was intended).

If you send a lot of screenshots to people in lieu of explaining yourself in words, you’ll get a kick out of the whiteboard feature. Mark your screen all up, click save, and send it off.

Speaking of screenshots, PicPick is also a full-featured screen capture application. It has all of the function that you would expect in a desktop snapshot program:  full screen, active window, window control, region, fixed region, and even a freehand option. A setting or two later and you can have all of your screenshots be uploaded via FTP to a web server, or automatically saved into a common screenshot folder.

While I haven’t had much use for it due to Gimp and Paint.NET, PicPick has an image editor built in for manipulating the screens you capture. I know that it covers some basic effects like pixelating, framing, and HSB adjustment. It also will let you freehand draw with a color palette and simple brushes, shapes, and a fill bucket. It’s not really what I’d consider a rich graphical editor, but that’s not why we have it.

It loads fast, sits quietly in the system try until needed, and has never crashed on me. So as far as being one of those utilities that’s more of a burden than it’s worth, PicPick is certainly not the tool you’ll need to turn right around and delete in a month.

While unfortunately not being packaged as a portable application, PicPick is capable of being used entirely from a storage device.

I would only like to see one major feature be added to this application: saved color sets. As a developer/designer, I find that after I build my list of colors for a site or application, I need to get back to those colors often. I would think that it would be fairly easy to implement something like this, and look forward to future versions to see that come to pass.

Tools import underway…

As of now, I’ve re-created three of the tools that were being used on the recently deceased version of lancemay.com.

There are a couple I still need to pull in, and more still that I have yet to write, but that process is currently underway.

If you have any (primarily development) tool ideas that you’d like me to write up, please let me know and I’ll see what I can do for you.

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