Modular, design-conscious color picker widget for JavaScript


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8525May 16, 2021Sep 30, 2016Minified + gzip package size for @jaames/iro in KB



Modular, design-conscious color picker widget for JavaScript - with support for a bunch of color formats | iro.js.org

license version downloads minzip size no jQuery

Features | Demo | Installation | Usage | Plugins | Documentation | Special Thanks | Forum


  • Work with colors in hex, RGB, HSV and HSL formats (plus kelvin temperatures!) in one simple, frictionless API
  • Add multiple colors to the same color picker for selecting color harmonies and themes
  • Create the perfect color picker from a selection of pre-built UI components
  • All of iro.js can run from a single script - no extra CSS, images, or third-party libraries required!
  • ~9kb minified and gzipped
  • Licenced under MPL 2.0 - 100% free for personal and commercial use

Codepen Demos


Install with NPM

$ npm install @jaames/iro --save

If you are using a module bundler like Webpack or Rollup, import iro.js into your project:

// Using ES6 module syntax
import iro from '@jaames/iro';

// Using CommonJS modules
const iro = require('@jaames/iro');

Using the jsDelivr CDN

<script src="https://cdn.jsdelivr.net/npm/@jaames/iro@5"></script>

When you manually include the library like this, iro.js will be made globally available on window.iro.

Download and host yourself

Development version
Uncompressed, with source comments included. Intended for debugging.

Production version
Minified and optimized version.

Then add it to the <head> of your page with a <script> tag:

    <!-- ... -->
    <script src="./path/to/iro.min.js"></script>
  <!-- ... -->


Getting Started

First, we need a HTML element with a unique identifier (like an id attribute) to act as a container for the color picker:

<div id="picker"></div>

Then use JavaScript to create a new iro.ColorPicker with a CSS selector that matches your container element:

var colorPicker = new iro.ColorPicker('#picker');

You can also use a DOM object instead of a CSS selector here -- this might be more suitable if you're integrating iro.js into an application built with a framework such as Vue, React, etc.

Color Picker Options

The color picker can be customized by passing a set of options to the second iro.ColorPicker parameter:

var colorPicker = new iro.ColorPicker("#picker", {
  // Set the size of the color picker
  width: 320,
  // Set the initial color to pure red
  color: "#f00"

Available Options

Option Purpose Default Value
width Total width of the control UI. 300
color The initial color value. This can be any supported color format. "#ffffff"
colors Initial color values used for multi-color selections. null
display CSS display value for the color picker root element. "block"
id HTML ID for the color picker root element. null
layout Used for customising the UI component layout. null
layoutDirection UI component stacking direction; either "vertical" or "horizontal". "vertical"
padding Padding around the control handles. 6
margin Gap between individual components. 12
borderWidth Width of the border around the controls. Set to 0 for no border. 0
borderColor Color of the border. Any valid CSS color is supported. "#ffffff"
handleRadius Radius of the control handles. 8
handleSvg Custom handle SVG, used for custom handles. null
handleProps Custom handle properties, used for custom handles. {x:0, y:0}
wheelLightness If set to false, the color wheel will not fade to black when the lightness decreases. true
wheelAngle Starting angle of the color wheel's hue gradient, measured in degrees. 0
wheelDirection Direction of the color wheel's hue gradient; either "clockwise" or "anticlockwise". "anticlockwise"
sliderSize Slider control size. By default this will be calculated automatically. undefined
boxHeight Box control height. By default this will be the same as the width. undefined

More details about color picker options, properties, and methods can be found on the colorPicker API documentation.

Working with Colors

Each color picker has a color object which stores the currently selected color. This color object is tied to the color picker, so any changes to its values will be reflected by the picker, and vice versa.

Color Properties

The color object has some "magic" properties which can be used to both get and set the selected color in different formats. Whenever one of these properties is set, the color picker controls will update and the color:change event will fire.

For example, to get the current color as a hex string:

var hex = colorPicker.color.hexString;
console.log(hex); // hex = "#ff0000"

Or to set the selected color from a hsl object:

colorPicker.color.hsl = { h: 180, s: 100, l: 50 };
// Color picker updates to match hsl(180, 100, 50)

The color object has properties which cover all of the most common web color formats (HEX, RGB, HSL and HSV), as well as some extras:

Property Example Format
hexString "#ff0000"
hex8String "#ff0000ff"
rgb { r: 255, g: 0, b: 0 }
rgba { r: 255, g: 0, b: 0, a: 1 }
rgbString "rgb(255, 0, 0)"
rgbaString "rgb(255, 0, 0, 1)"
hsl { h: 360, s: 100, l: 50 }
hsla { h: 360, s: 100, l: 50, a: 1 }
hslString "hsl(360, 100%, 50%)"
hslaString "hsla(360, 100%, 50%, 1)"
hsv { h: 360, s: 100, v: 100 }
hsva { h: 360, s: 100, v: 100, a: 1 }
red 0 to 255
green 0 to 255
blue 0 to 255
alpha 0 to 1
hue 0 to 360
saturation 0 to 100
value 0 to 100
kelvin 1000 to 40000

For more details about color objects, check out the Color API documentation.

Color Picker Events

Events let you to run your own code after certain things have happened, like when the selected color has changed or when the user has interacted with the color picker.

The color picker's on method can be used to attach functions that will be called whenever a particular event is fired. In this example, we add a listener for the color:change event:

// listen to a color picker's color:change event
// color:change callbacks receive the current color
colorPicker.on('color:change', function(color) {
  // log the current color as a HEX string

The on method can also take an array of event names, in case you want to listen to multiple events with one function:

// listen to a color picker's color:init and color:change events
colorPicker.on(['color:init', 'color:change'], function(color) {
  // log the current color as a HEX string

Event listeners can also be removed at any time by passing the same function to the color picker's off method:

// create a callback function
function onColorChange(color) {

// add color:change listener
colorPicker.on('color:change', onColorChange);

// later, if we want to stop listening to color:change...
colorPicker.off('color:change', onColorChange);

Available Events


Fired whenever the selected color changes -- either when the user interacts with the color picker, or when the color is updated by your own code. This event's callback functions will recieve two values:

  • color: the currently selected color
  • changes: an object showing which HSV channels have changed since the last time the event was fired

It is safe to modify the color object within callbacks for this event. This can be helpful if you want to limit the range or a certain color channel, for example:

colorPicker.on('color:change', function(color) {
  // don't let the color saturation fall below 50!
  if (color.saturation < 50) {
    color.saturation = 50;

Similar to color:change, except this event is only fired when the color is changed with the user's mouse or touch input.

Callbacks for this event recieve the same values as color:change, and it is also safe to modify the color object within callbacks for this event.


Fired whenever the users starts interacting with the color picker controls. The currently selected color is passed to this event's callback function.


Fired when the user moves their pointer/mouse after beginning interaction. The currently selected color is passed to this event's callback function.


Fired whenever the user stops interacting with the color picker controls. The currently selected color is passed to this event's callback function.


Fired whenever a color is added. This event's callbacks will recieve the newly added color object.


Fired when a color is removed from the color picker. This event's callbacks will receive the removed color object.


Fired whenever the 'active' color is switched. This event's callbacks will receive the active color object.


Fired when the colorPicker's UI has been mounted to the DOM and is ready for user interaction. The colorPicker object is passed to this event's callback function.

Special Thanks

Thank you to the following people for their support and contributions!

  • @KaanMol and @mksglu for starting the Typescript port
  • @asonix for vertical slider implementation

Sponsored by Ship Shape

Website | Forum | Codepen Demo | Contribution Guide | Donate | Changelog | License

© James Daniel

If you find any bugs or have a feature request, please open an issue on github!

The npm package download data comes from npm's download counts api and package details come from npms.io.