Version 1.0.1

Color slider

A color slider allows users to visually change an individual channel of a color.

Image illustrating three variations of a color slider selecting in red, green, and blue color channels.


Image illustrating through labels the component parts of a color slider, including its track, handle, and loupe.


Key example showing two color sliders, one in horizontal orientation, one in vertical orientation.


Color sliders can be either in horizontal or vertical orientation. By default, a color slider is horizontal and should be used when vertical space is more limited. The vertical orientation is used when horizontal space is more limited.

Key example showing three color sliders demonstrating use for selecting hue, color channel, and opacity.

Hue or opacity#

The color slider can be used to select hues, color channel values (such as RGB or CMYK levels), or opacity.


Flexible length#

While the color slider has a fixed thickness (24 px on desktop, 30 px on mobile), the length of the color slider is flexible and can be customized to appropriately fit its context. The minimum length is 80 px on desktop scale and 100 px on mobile scale.

Key example showing horizontal color slider length annotated with customizable length.

Handle behavior#

Unlike the slider itself, the color slider’s handle can slide all the way to the edge of the track. It always displays the selected color inside the handle and never gets cut off by the track or any container.

Key example showing three horizontal sliders with the handle either at the first or last position, with the slider demonstrating color hue, channel, or transparency.

Loupe behavior (down state, finger input)#

On down (touch), a loupe appears above the handle to show the selected color that would otherwise be covered by the finger. This only appears on finger input, not mouse or stylus. It appears 10 px above the edge of the handle on desktop scale and 8 px on mobile scale.

Key example of a color slider demonstrating the loupe relative to the handle and finger position.

Usage guidelines#

Include labels#

Color sliders should be labeled and, when applicable, be accompanied by text fields. In a context when labeling each individual slider may be redundant, make sure to still label the group of sliders (“RGB,” “HSB,” etc.)

Key example of three color sliders correctly being used with labels and text fields.
Key example of three color sliders incorrectly being used without labels but with text fields.

Display color selection#

When using color areas, it’s important to clearly display the color selection in real-time. It can be in a color swatch, or directly on the canvas, or both.

Key example of a color swatch above three color sliders being used to select values for red, green, and blue color channels and one color slider for transparency.

Keyboard interactions#

TabPlaces focus on the handle. If the handle is already in focus, moves focus to the next handle or next element in the page tab sequence.
Shift + TabPlaces focus on the previous handle or previous element in the page tab sequence.
Up, Down, Left, or Right ArrowMoves the handle up/down/left/right.


Mar 26, 20201.0.1
  • Updated handle border transparency to meet minimum contrast ratio
Apr 19, 20191.0.0
  • This component has been included to the website.

Design checklist#

All interactive states

Includes all interactive states that are applicable (hover, down, focus, keyboard focus, disabled).

Multiple options

Includes relevant options (variant, style, size, orientation, optional iconography, decorations, selection, error state, etc.)

All color themes

Works properly across all four color themes (lightest, light, dark, darkest).

All platform scales

Includes a desktop scale (UWP, macOS, web desktop) and a mobile scale (iOS, Android, web mobile).

Defined behaviors

Includes guidelines for layout (wrapping, truncation, overflow), animation, interactions, etc.

Usage guidelines

Includes a list of dos and don’ts that highlight best practices and common mistakes.

Accessible contrast

Follows WCAG 2.0 standards for contrast (AA).


Internationalization guidelines

Works properly across various locales and includes guidelines for bi-directionality (RTL).

Keyboard interactions

Follows WCAG 2.0 standards for keyboard accessibility guidelines and includes a description of the keyboard interactions.

Generated UI kit

Includes a downloadable XD file that has been generated by code and shows multiple variations, states, color themes, and scales.

Design tokens

All design attributes (color, typography, layout, animation, etc.) are included in Spectrum DNA.