Ask A Cartographer

Color wheel

December 22 2008 | 0 comments
Categories: Symbology

Is there any way to have a vastly improved colour wheel? I would like to be able to choose from a colour wheel that is the size of my whole screen, and contains hundreds of colours. And when I hover over a colour, I would like to see the four 'color selector' percentages. Is this possible? Alternatively, are there any colour charts with the 4'%'s - like the paint manufacturers provide? Many thanks in advance.

Mapping Center Answer:

In terms of specifically what you're asking for, no there's no way to change the color wheels to anything larger or richer.  Minimally, I suggest that you contact technical support and request an enhancement.  The above text would do just fine. 

In the meantime you could use C:\program files\arcgis\plotters\calibrate.mxd as the basis for something larger in terms of a selection of colors for the default color selector.  Though, it is extra work for you, and it exactly fit the bill.  Another route to take is using the appendices in Cindy Brewer's Designing Better Maps book, which contains a number of ready-to-use pre-selected color schemes (sort of like paint manufacturer's swatch cards).  Basically, the color selection user interface suffers from having to make too many people happy (and only the middle is potentially happy); there are plenty who say, 'there are too many colors, why would I use any of these?'  So, if you've got ideas about how you'd like to use the software in terms of managing a palette of colors for any given map, please pass that along as well.

The reason I suggested that you, as a paying customer, contact technical support is that you have more say in what we do than I might.  When I make recommendations to the development team, it can have the effect of the priority being averaged out with the many dozens of other things I might have said in the past few months.  Our technical support group tracks all such requests and sends detailed reports to the development team. That makes it possible for the development team to prioritize enhancements like this far more effectively. 


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