How-To

How to Add the Color Wheel in Photoshop CS6

Photoshop has a built-in hue color wheel that goes ignored by many. If you aren’t familiar with this tool you can give it a try without changing any complicated settings.

Using the hue color wheel in Photoshop CS6

The color picker in Photoshop is easily one of the most-used tools when you are creating original work. In CS6 the default color picker is a boring hue box. Some people prefer the box, but if you’re like me the hue wheel is so much more appealing. I’ll show you how to change it in just a few steps.

In Photoshop click the Edit tab on the menubar and select Preferences > General. You can also press Ctrl + K as a shortcut to open this.

edit > preferences > general

In the General tab of preferences click the HUD Color Picker dropdown and select the Hue Wheel. There are 4 different sizes available and I prefer the small one as the others take up most of the screen. Press OK to save changes and exit.

preferences > general > hue wheel small

Now just press Alt + Shift + Right-click (mouse) to open up the color wheel.

alt shift right click

Incase you’re curious about the different sizes, I snapped a shot of each of them below. These screenshots are ordered from smallest to largest.

small wheel

unlabeled wheel

medium wheel

large wheel


9 Comments

9 Comments

  1. Luna  

    Hi, how would I bring it up on a mac laptop with no mouse?
    Thanks!

    • For Mac, use the Command-Alt-Control, and touch your trackpad/tablet.

  2. Louis  

    Hi I followed the steps and it’s really good except that my colour wheel looks like this:

    http://www.trurodiocese.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/Colour-wheel-hud-problems.jpg

    Any ideas?

    • clawjelly  

      You have text selected. Just rightclick somedwhere else than the selected text as a workaround.

  3. Chris  

    I followed the steps but shift+Alt+right click does nothing. I have move button selected.
    I am using PS CC.

    • Chris  

      opps! I found it duh. Select brush or pencil first

  4. Lu  

    So how do I keep it open? As soon as I’m not holding down the key combo it vanishes. Hugely frustrating.

    • I don’t think it is possible to do so.
      If you want to have a fixed color wheel, try using Coolorus 2.
      It’s a plugin/add-on that is widely used by artists.

  5. jaspreet  

    Its not working with the mac shortcut, is there a way to change the hotkeys ?

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