Mac OS X Digital color meter for web designers

Digital Color Meter

Have you ever wanted to figure out the particular color of a piece of text, or a background, without having to sift through a CSS file, or open Photoshop to use its eye dropper tool?

One of the secrets of the Mac OS, at least for web designers, is the utility called Digital Color Meter. I’m surprised more designers and developers don’t know about it, so I thought I’d try to rectify that situation.

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I spent a few hours over the last few days going through a massive style sheet from a project. This thing is a good 3200 lines of CSS.

I was going through each rule and alphabetizing the properties. So, something like this: p { width: 80%; margin: 0 auto 15px auto; font-size: 12px; line-height: 1.4; }

Would look like this: p { font-size: 12px; line-height: 1.4; margin: 0 auto 15px auto; width: 80%; }

I was doing this because the project is going to be handed off to another agency in the next few months. I don’t know who will be having to go through the style sheet, and I don’t know their ability.

But, if they are able to track down the rule they need to modify, they should have an easier time figuring out the property they need – quickly. Never mind that for the near term future, it will be easier for me to work with the file as well.

Is it a little over the top, like my senior developer told me (I believe the phrase “Anal Retentive” was used)? Probably.

I think that it will mean easier maintenance over the long run. Does this kind of approach help anyone else out there? Especially those working in environments where more than one person might work on a style sheet?

[I do know that there automated processors out there for this kind of thing, and I kind of used one. Most modified the rules a little too much for my taste, so I still did a lot of this by hand.]

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