I decided that I needed a better color pallete to use in CorelDRAW® when designing web graphics, as most of the ones that come with the program are CMYK and/or process palettes for printing purposes. I needed a simple sRGB pallete with a wide variety of bold colors.
Since this is for web graphics, a logical choice would be the named CSS colors. By the way, CorelDRAW does come with a palette for web graphics, but it is the “Web-Safe” palette, which is only a small number of colors designed for 8-bit graphics and is very restrictive. Besides, when you use gradient fills and translucent effects in your drawing, you’re going beyond your color palette anyway. The palette in a Vector drawing program is really just a starting point so you can have some color consistency.
Moving on, I was surprised that I had little luck finding what I was looking for in any of the palette formats that CorelDRAW can import. I did find an Adobe® Illustrator® drawing that CorelDRAW could extract a palette from, but the hue-less colors (black, gray, white) were in the palette multiple times, and the colors were not named (a limitation of the format or import process).
So I, programmer that I am, looked for a specification or reverse engineering of various palette formats. I found some information on ACO files, which Adobe Photoshop® uses. The spec seemed simple enough (just a bunch of big-endian 16-bit words and UTF-16 strings stored in two versioned chunks), whipped up a program to take all the CSS Colors, sort them by Hue, Saturation, and Brightness, and dump them to a ACO file.
I imported the file in to CorelDRAW only to find that it only supports the first chunk of the file, which does not include the color names, so I manually copied and pasted them all in and saved the palette as a CPL file. I re-sorted the colors using CorelDRAW’s HSB-sort, only to find that their algorithm is ever-so-slightly different than mine, but that’s really no big deal.
I’ve uploaded the palette files in case anyone is interested (Download CSS Color Palette). Eventually, Michael and/or I may throw together a library that can convert palettes to/from various formats, as we have wanted such functionality in a project we’ve worked on in the past.
I have not actually tried loading the Photoshop palette in Photoshop, as I do not own a copy, but it should work.
Beware the Muuj
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