For most folks, the Color Log provides more information than they would ever want.  It tracks information on each selected color, whether clicked directly, chosen from the list of color names, or jumped upon by Spot the Magic Color Dog.  If you just want the hex value of a color, you can copy and paste that from the Hex Color field of the main window.

The following information is for more advanced users who might be doing some sort of color analysis or statistical work.  The Color Log basically consists of two tables.  The top one tracks individual information on each selected color.  It stores up to 2,500 lines, at which point it forgets the first 500.  I.e., you can always access at least the last 2,000 selections.

The bottom table concerns itself with statistical information.  The Interactive Color Wheel uses a 16-bit color space, which means that the 24-bit colors from the color name list (or whose hex value is typed in) are usually quantized, meaning that color accuracy is lost.  I wanted to know how extensive that loss was, hence the statistics.  Each time you select a new Color List from the main window, the statistical information is re-initialized.

In either table, one or more rows can be copied to the clipboard.  Select the row(s), then click Ctrl+C (or whatever the copy key happens to be on your particular system).  When you paste the information into another program, it appears in Tab Separated Value format for each line, with a line feed sequence after each line.  The final, Mismatch column of the top table is editable, meaning you can make annotations prior to saving the information.  Just click in the final column of the row you wish to annotate, and type.  Click elsewhere or hit the Return key to complete editing.  Column widths may be changed by dragging the dividers between column headings.

Table of Colors

  • Name - the closest named color to the one selected.  The first character shows whether it is an exact match (=), a quantized close match (@), or a non-match (~).
  • Distance - the color distance between the selected color and the named color.
  • Hex - the hexadecimal value of the color.
  • Lumi - a greyscale representation of the luminance of the color.
  • RGB - the (red, green, blue) values for the color.
  • Complement - the complement (opposite) of the color.
  • HSB - the (hue, saturation, brightness) of the color.
  • QE - Quantization Error between a color selected from the left pane (list or hex entry) and the color displayed.
  • Mismatch - signifies an imperfection in the color name look-up process.  Occasionally a selected color name is not the one found when the program attempts to identify it on the wheel.  When this occurs, it is reported.

Table of Accumulated Quantization Error

  • Type
    • Hex QE - average QE between either a selected color name or a typed-in hex value and the displayed color.
    • Name QE - average QE between an exact color request (by clicking in the square box to right of large color name) and the displayed color.
    • Mismatch QE - average QE between the color name you clicked and the color name the program found.
    • Search Accuracy - average color distance between any selected color and its named color.
  • Count - for Search Accuracy, displays the count of selected colors.  For the other three rows, displays the actual error count as numerator and the possible (maximum) error count as denominator.
  • Red QE - average percent QE of red component
  • Green QE - average percent QE of green component
  • Blue QE - average percent QE of blue component
  • Average QE - average of Red, Green, and Blue QEs.
  • Distance - (only applicable to Search Accuracy).  Shows the (non-zero minimum, average, maximum) distances of all color look-ups.  Color distance is calculated by summing the distances in two color spaces, CIE L*a*b* and HSB.
-- Rich Franzen, 2011-01-05