ColorExplorer's graphical user interface


  1. Description
  2. Details
  3. Environment
  5. Change Log
  6. Bugs


ColorExplorer is a tool for exploring the color space and finding out how colors, color names, and numerical color specifications are related. You can specify a color by:

The numerical specification of the current color and an example of that color are shown in a pair of adjacent boxes.

The color name list may be searched by entering a regular expression or by requesting the closest match to the current numerical color specification. The current color specification and example may be copied into a hold area so that subsequent experiments may be compared with a tentative selection.


DependenciesTcl/Tk version 8.3 or higher
Current version1.8
Last modified2008-04-14
LicenseGNU General Public License, Version 3


ColorExplorer should run on any platform for which tcl/tk is available, which means just about any current computer.

The easiest way to obtain the Tcl/Tk environment you need is to install the ActiveTcl distribution from ActiveState. This distribution provides the Tcl language, the Tk graphics library, and a bunch of extensions. Don't be concerned by the fact that ActiveState is a commercial outfit. The Tcl/Tk distribution that they provide is free as in both beer and speech. They make their money selling services and programming tools. The ActiveTcl distribution is currently available for: GNU/Linux, HP-UX, AIX, Solaris, Mac OS X, and MS Windows.

For FreeBSD, Tcl and Tk are available at:

ColorExplorer also makes use of Alexander Gromnizki's program xoris. Xoris is not necessary for the operation of ColorExplorer. It is used only to provide the Copy function. If you do not have xoris installed (or cannot, since you are using a system whose window system is not X11) ColorExplorer will detect this and configure itself to omit the Copy function. Everything else will work. A copy of the source code for xoris is included. On Unix-type systems with X11 installed, typing "make" in the ColorExplorer directory will compile and install xoris and install ColorExplorer.

By default, both programs are installed in directories that normally require root access, so you will need to su first or use sudo. To install ColorExplorer elsewhere, edit the Makefile and change the value of BINDIR. To install xoris elsewhere, edit the Imakefile in the xoris directory and change the value of BINDIR.

For more information about xoris, see its Freshmeat page:

or the author's home page:




If you would like to be notified of new releases, subscribe to ColorExplorer at Freshmeat.

ColorExplorer is included in Puppy Linux.

For those for whom installing Tcl/Tk is a problem, the following are single-file executables that contain ColorExplorer along with the Tcl interpreter and the necessary libraries.











It is not currently possible to use CMYK color specifications.

Back to Bill Poser's software page.