Monday, October 29, 2007

An On-Line Color Thesaurus

Color names are a powerful means of selecting and communicating colors. There are a variety of color vocabularies and dictionaries available but there has been less work in capturing the similiarities and differences in color naming. This post is a tool post in that the online color thesarus is embedded directly in the post.

Getting Started
To use the online color thesaurus, click on the screen-shot below to get to the thesaurus page. There simply type the color name in the text field. Once you have typed in your color name click on "submit" and then the results will be displayed. You can use the "clear" button to clear the text field.

The results that are returned are a large color square with a rendering of the color if it was found. If the name was not found, for example "greeb" was entered, then the next nearest color name in terms of edit distance, in this case "green", will be returned. So no you won't have to remember how to spell fuchsia.

In addition to the colored square are the corresponding RGB and hexadecimal values. Finally there is a note about how common the color name is. Below this are the color synonyms and antonyms. Each column has smaller color squares rendering the color names and the names with links so that you can easily click-through to these names. The results are based on analysis of 20,000+ color name database in English collected from a 20+ language ongoing online color naming experiment.


  1. Excellent and interesting work. Is it open to be used by others?

  2. I love the On-Line Color Thesaurus. Your thesaurus has taught me that the color red is not #ff0000 but #d8232c. As a result, the quality of my work looks richer in color and less bland.

    Would you mind telling me how you arrived at the conclusion that #d8232c is red?

    And thanks.