Why no hex option for colours in Publisher?

Colour picker from Microsoft Publisher 2003

On the subject of Microsoft Office applications, why is there no option to enter colours in Microsoft Publisher in Web hex format? The only options are:

  • RGB (Red, Green, Blue)
  • HSL (Hue, Saturation, Luminance)
  • CMYK (Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, blacK)
  • Pantone®

I can’t be the only person who mocks up Website designs in Publisher and it takes a wee while to convert my hex codes (e.g. #A7B8C9) to RGB values (e.g. 167, 184, 201). It would be much better if there was an option to enter these values in hexadecimal, as you can in Corel Paint Shop Pro:

Paint Shop Pro colour palette

Having just reinstalled Microsoft Office 2007 Beta 2 this evening I was disappointed to discover that this feature hasn’t been included in this release either.

Does anyone know of a Publisher 2003 Add-in that provides this functionality? Or a software company who would be interested in creating one?

Published by

Gareth Saunders

I’m Gareth J M Saunders, 52 years old, 6′ 4″, father of 3 boys (including twins). Enneagram type FOUR and introvert (INFP), I am a non-stipendiary priest in the Scottish Episcopal Church, I sing with the NYCGB alumni choir, play guitar, play mahjong, write, draw and laugh… Scrum master at Safeguard Global; latterly at Sky and Vision/Cegedim. Former web architect and agile project manager at the University of St Andrews and previously warden at Agnes Blackadder Hall.

5 thoughts on “Why no hex option for colours in Publisher?”

  1. Hi James, not sure what you are implying here. Here’s the deal: I want to use Publisher to mock up web designs (why not, there are a bunch of website templates already in Publisher). So I want to be able to dial up colours in hex.

    I’ve got plenty of other tools that DO support hex colours, but I want to use Publisher.

  2. It is not just Publisher that doesn’t have support for hexidecimal colour referencing. ALL the Microsoft applications lack this feature. How useful it would be if they did!

  3. So what was the response? Is there a way to get around this. I’ve created a brochure in publisher and want to use the color scheme in Godaddy’s website tonight software. Do either of you know where I can get help to transfer the colors?


    1. Hi Tracey, you’ll just need to convert the hex values to decimal yourself. It’s quite simple.

      Say the hex value you have is #00539b (that’s a dark blue, by the way) break it down into pairs:


      then use a hex to decimal converter to find their decimal values. Or simply drop your complete hex code into this Color converter.

      It returns:

      #00 = 0
      #53 = 83
      #9b = 155

      which becomes your RGB value: rgb(0,83,155).

      I hope that made sense, and helps.

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