Color Wheel Pro - See Color Theory in Action

A software program to create color schemes and preview them on real-world examples.

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Color Wheel Pro Glossary

Color scheme

Color schemes are harmonious color combinations that use any two colors opposite each other on the color wheel, any three colors equally spaced around the color wheel forming a triangle, or any four colors forming a rectangle (actually, two pairs of colors opposite each other).

There are six classic color schemes: Monochromatic, Analogous, Complementary, Split Complementary, Triadic, and Tetradic (also called Double Complementary). See Color Schemes for more information.

Color wheel

The colors of the visible spectrum arranged into a circle. Color Wheel Pro supports two types of color wheel: a mixing color wheel (RYB), and a visual color wheel (RGB). See Mixing vs. Visual Color Wheel for more information.


The color in its purest form, with no black, gray, or white added. For example, scarlet, crimson, and pink have the same hue – red. You can see hues on the outer edge of the color wheel and in the spectrum.


The 'blackness' or 'whiteness' of the color. In terms of Color Wheel Pro, black has the lightness of -1, pure hue has the lightness of 0, and white has the lightness of 1:


Primary colors

The basic colors that can be mixed to make all other colors. The primary colors cannot be made by combining other colors.

Mixing primaries: Red, yellow, blue (RYB)
Visual additive primaries: Red, green, blue (RGB)
Visual subtractive primaries: Cyan, magenta, yellow (CMY)


The amount of hue in proportion to the neutral gray of the same lightness, that is the intensity of color. In this example, the leftmost swatch has the saturation of 1 (maximum value) and the rightmost swatch has the saturation of 0 (minimum value).


Secondary colors

Colors that are made by mixing two adjacent primary colors. For example, red and blue light mixed give magenta light.

Mixing secondary colors: Orange, violet, and green (according to Johannes Itten)
Visual additive secondary colors: Cyan, magenta, and yellow (CMY)
Visual subtractive secondary colors: Red, green, blue (RGB)


Shades are mixtures of a hue and black. This example shows five different shades of red:

Shades of Red


Tints are mixtures of a hue and white. This example shows five different tints of red:

Tints of Red


Tones are mixtures of a hue and its complement or grays. This example shows five different tones of red:

Tones of Red

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