Natively Pronounced Mandarin


    0.6.0 • Public • Published


    There are a LOT of different types of palette files. Like, way too many. But we can solve this.

    One library to rule them all,
       one library to find them,
    One library to load them all
       and in the browser bind them. 

    Check out the demo!


    AnyPalette.js has a single interface for all formats, so you can load any of the supported file types with one call, and it'll choose an appropriate parser to use automatically.

    It can even load from files that aren't intended specifically as palettes, but that have CSS-style color values in them (.css, .html, .svg, .js, etc.)

    Works in Node.js and in the browser.

    Supported palette formats:

    File Extension Name Programs Read Write
    .pal RIFF Palette MS Paint for Windows 95 and Windows NT 4.0
    .gpl GIMP Palette Gimp, Inkscape, Krita, KolourPaint, Scribus, CinePaint, MyPaint
    .aco Adobe Color Swatch Adobe Photoshop
    .ase Adobe Swatch Exchange Adobe Photoshop, InDesign, and Illustrator
    .txt Paint.NET Palette Paint.NET
    .act Adobe Color Table Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator *
    .pal, .psppalette Paint Shop Pro Palette Paint Shop Pro (Jasc Software / Corel)
    .hpl Homesite Palette Allaire Homesite / Macromedia ColdFusion
    .cs ColorSchemer ColorSchemer Studio *
    .pal Starcraft Palette Starcraft
    .wpe Starcraft Terrain Palette Starcraft
    .sketchpalette Sketch Palette Sketch
    .spl Skencil Palette Skencil (formerly called Sketch)
    .soc StarOffice Colors StarOffice, OpenOffice, LibreOffice
    .colors KolourPaint Color Collection KolourPaint
    .colors Plasma Desktop Color Scheme KDE Plasma Desktop
    .theme Windows Theme Windows Desktop
    .themepack Windows Theme Windows Desktop
    .css, .scss, .styl Cascading StyleSheets Web browsers / web pages
    .html, .svg, .js any text files with CSS colors Web browsers / web pages

    *The ColorSchemer file parser is only enabled when the file extension is known to be .cs, provided by passing a File object, or options.fileName, or options.fileExt, or options.filePath. The Adobe Color Table loader is only enabled when the file extension is known to be .act OR the file is exactly 768 or 772 bytes long.

    UNSUPPORTED palette formats (for now):

    File Extension Name Programs Read Write
    .gpa Gpick Palette Gpick
    .acb Adobe Color Book Adobe InDesign and Illustrator **
    .acbl Adobe Color Book Library / Legacy Adobe InDesign and Illustrator (?)

    **None of the color spaces are supported (CMYK, CIELAB, CIEXYZ). The code is mostly all there! But I think probably ICC profiles are needed for correct-looking colors.

    Picking colors from an image can be done by other libraries, like vibrant.js/node-vibrant


    MIT-licensed, see LICENSE


    For Node.js / Webpack / Parcel / Rollup / Browserify, install with:

    npm i anypalette --save
    # or
    yarn add anypalette

    Then access the library with:

    const AnyPalette = require("anypalette");

    Alternatively, download build/anypalette-0.6.0.js and include it as a script:

    <script src="anypalette-0.6.0.js"></script>

    This will create a global AnyPalette

    This library uses UMD, so you can also load it with AMD or CommonJS (in which case it won't create a global).


    See the changelog for upgrading. Properties and methods not documented here may break without notice.

    AnyPalette.loadPalette(options, callback)

    Load a palette from a palette file. You can pass in the file data in a few different ways.

    Knowing the file extension means AnyPalette.js can often pick the correct palette loader right away, which can improve the load speed, and also a few loaders are only enabled if their specific file extension matches because they can't determine if the file is actually in that format or not (for raw data formats without headers).

    • options.file - the palette file to load, as a File
    • - the palette file data to load, as a binary string or ArrayBuffer or Node.js Buffer or Uint8Array (but not any other TypedArray or DataView). In the case of a binary string, Unicode names for colors do not work, so an ArrayBuffer is preferred.
    • options.filePath - a path to a palette file, for Node.js usage
    • options.fileName (optional) - the file name, if you have it, including the file extension - can be obtained automatically from options.file or options.filePath
    • options.fileExt (optional) - the file extension, if you have it, excluding the dot, e.g. "pal" - can be obtained automatically from options.fileName or options.file or options.filePath
    • callback(error, palette, formatUsed, matchedFileExtension) (required) - called when palette loading is finished, either with an error (in the first argument) or with the remaining arguments in the case of success:
      • palette: a Palette
      • formatUsed: a Format object representing the file format, or more generic loader, that was used to parse the palette
      • matchedFileExtension: whether the format matched one of the file extensions its known for (Boolean)

    Note: The callback is actually executed synchronously if you pass data directly. It's in an asynchronous style to allow for file loading, but all the palette parsing is currently synchronous. TODO: setImmediate at least.

    AnyPalette.loadPalette(file, callback)

    Shortcut to load from a File object, equivalent to passing {file: file} for options.

    AnyPalette.loadPalette(filePath, callback)

    Shortcut to load from a file path in Node.js, equivalent to passing {filePath: filePath} for options.

    AnyPalette.writePalette(palette, format)

    Returns string (for text-based formats) or ArrayBuffer (for binary formats) of the content of a file, in the given Format.

    To save a palette as a GPL file, sending a download in a browser:

    var format = AnyPalette.formats.GIMP_PALETTE;
    var file_content = AnyPalette.writePalette(palette, format);
    var file = new File([file_content], "Saved Colors.gpl");
    var url = URL.createObjectURL(file);
    var a = document.createElement("a");
    a.href = url; =;
    document.body.appendChild(a);; // Note: this must happen during a user gesture to work

    If you don't know what format to export as, use GIMP_PALETTE (.gpl), as it's supported by a wide range of software.


    Some palette formats are commonly made variable size by just leaving unused slots a certain color such as #000 or #00F. You can get a Palette with only unique colors like so:

    var withoutDuplicates = AnyPalette.uniqueColors(palette);

    class Palette extends Array

    (Accessible as AnyPalette.Palette)

    Stores a list of Colors, and some metadata.

    Because Palette is a subclass of Array, you can use forEach, map, join and other methods, or access the colors via indexing e.g. palette[0] and loop over them using palette.length

    Note: I think this was a bad design decision because map unintuitively returns an instance of the subclass Palette, and Palette is only intended to hold Colors. I plan to change it to simply use a colors field.
    I could make it an array-like object, but that might introduce other confusions. I don't know, jQuery does it. And a bunch of browser-native objects are array-like instead of proper arrays. Maybe that's the way to go.


    palette.numberOfColumns may contain a number of columns for the palette to fit into (with the number of rows being implicit).
    You should ignore a numberOfColumns of zero or undefined, and MAY want to ignore this property entirely. Inkscape, for example, ignores the number of columns specified in a palette. may contain a name for the palette (as a string), or else undefined.

    This is not populated with the filename, it's only available for palette formats that allow defining a name within the file.


    palette.description may contain a description for the palette (as a string), or else undefined.

    class Color

    (Accessible as AnyPalette.Color)

    Color has a toString method that returns a CSS color, which means you can pass a Color object directly to an element's style or a canvas's context.

    var color = palette[0]; = color;
    ctx.fillStyle = color;

    See Using JavaScript's 'toString' Method, which incidentally uses a Color class as an example.

    In some cases you may need to call toString() explicitly to get a string, for example:

    var shortenedColorString = color.toString().replace(/\s/g, "");

    Color objects also have red, green, blue properties, and depending on how they were loaded, might have hue, saturation, lightness, and/or alpha. may contain a name for the color (as a string), or else undefined.

    Not all palette formats support named colors., colorB, epsilon=0.0001)

    Determines whether two colors are equal in value, or nearly equal.

    var firstTwoColorsExactlyEqual =[0], palette[1], 0);
    var firstTwoColorsBasicallyEqual =[0], palette[1], 0.001);
    var firstTwoColorsSimilar =[0], palette[1], 20);

    Note: If you want to find perceptually similar colors, it's better to use CIELAB color space instead of RGB. This function compares in RGB space and is really only meant for finding duplicates.

    class Format

    This class represents a loader and/or writer.

    • name: A friendly name for the format, e.g. "Paint Shop Pro palette"
    • fileExtensions: An array of associated file extensions, without the dot, e.g. ["pal", "psppalette"]
    • fileExtensionsPretty: A textual representation of the file extensions, including the dots, e.g. ".pal, .psppalette"
    • readFromText: This exists on text-based readers. Don't use it directly, use AnyPalette.loadPalette instead.
    • read: This exists on binary readers. Don't use it directly, use AnyPalette.loadPalette instead.
    • write: This exists on writers. Don't use it directly, use AnyPalette.writePalette instead.


    This is an object that contains Format objects, keyed by format IDs.

    To get an array of formats:

    const formats = Object.values(AnyPalette.formats);

    To get just writers:

    const writeFormats = Object.values(AnyPalette.formats).filter((format)=> format.write);

    To get just readers:

    const readFormats = Object.values(AnyPalette.formats).filter((format)=> || format.readFromText);


    • Load all the palettes!

      • Magica Voxel Palette (.png) - see MagicaVoxelPalettes for examples
      • macOS Color Palette (.clr)
      • Gpick Palette (.gpa)
      • Low priority
        • ASCII Color Format (.acf)
        • Binary Color Format (.bcf)
        • Alias/WaveFront Material (.mtl)
        • XML-based:
          • Adobe Color Book Legacy (.acbl)
          • AutoCAD Color Book (.acb)
          • QuarkXPress Color Library (.qcl)
          • Scribus (.xml)
          • sK1 (.skpx / .skp)
    • Guess palette geometries?

    • More stuff (I have an external TODO list)


    Development Setup

    • Install Node.js, if you don't already have it. (It comes with npm)

    • Fork and clone the repository

    • The repo has a git submodule, so in the repository folder run git submodule update --init

    • Install dependencies with npm install

    Development Workflow

    npm start will start a server and open a page in your default browser; it'll rebuild the library when changes to the source files are detected, and it'll auto-reload the page

    Run npm test to update a regression-data folder, and then view any changes with git.

    • If the changes are good/positive, great! Commit the changes along with the source code, or in a separate "Accept" commit.
    • If the changes are bad/negative, try to fix the regression.
    • *.out.2.* files are for files that are saved differently when loading a saved file. Ideally we want none of these.
    • If many files are deleted, check the console output. There are some test cases where it will exit early.

    Update's [Unreleased] section with any notable changes, following the Keep a Changelog format. Include any information someone upgrading the library might need to know.

    When pulling changes (e.g. syncing a fork) you may need to npm install again to update the dependencies.

    To cut a release

    The process is currently something like this:

    • In, replace the [Unreleased] section with the next version.
    • Make sure all the numbers are right. There's five version numbers and a date to update.

    (TODO: use update-changelog (altho it doesn't support links to commit ranges... this does, but it's for a different ecosystem))

    npm run build
    npm test
    git diff tests/ # there shouldn't be changes to the test data at this point, that should ideally happen in earlier commits
    git add -A && git commit -m "Update for release"
    npm version minor # or major or patch or a specific version number
    git push --follow-tags # better than --tags!
    npm publish


    npm i anypalette

    DownloadsWeekly Downloads






    Unpacked Size

    1.05 MB

    Total Files


    Last publish


    • 1j01