PagePainter is an interesting new freeware program which lets web designers test out different colour schemes on their page designs without fiddling around with source code and stuff. Fire up the program, load the target html page that you want to work on and use the PagePaint tools to switch colours, test out different schemes and even suggest various optimum colour combinations based on your key palette.
It’s not an easy program to get to grips with, so you’ll need to run through the tutorial on the help menu first to understand how it all fits together, but once you get the hang of it, it’s really quite cool. The whole thing revolves around a colour picker on steroids motif, so you select elements you want to change, choose a key colour and the program will suggest a palette for you to try out. Once you’ve got the colours assembled you can start replacing and testing different combinations to see which works best.
Like most design tools of this type (e.g. CSS engines, colour wheels etc) you’ll get out of it what you put in, and I’m guessing that ‘real’ designers will sneer at the limited scope of the palettes you can create. But it’s a great tool nevertheless, and I can see it growing into a really useful resource as the colour libraries expand and they add more features. It would be even better if the developers set up some sort of online community area to share experience and tips and spread the love.
When a local web page is opened in the PagePainter browser, the page responds to point and click color changes. Testing colors and color combinations on your own web site layout is as easy as painting on a canvas. Click on any element on your web page to change its color without changing the source code of your page. Save different colored versions of the same web page and compare them in PagePainter before commiting changes to code…Your original images remain unaltered. When you decide on a color scheme, PagePainter will generate a new html file, in that color scheme, complete with new graphics.