colorspace 1.4-1 2019-03-18

  • New article/vignette “Somewhere over the Rainbow” with published examples of RGB rainbow palettes (or similar highly saturated and non-monotonic palettes).

  • Bug fix in divergingx_hcl(n) with even n where the two central colors were erroneously duplicated. Also, partial matching of palette names has been fixed.

  • New sequential multi-hue palette: Purple-Yellow. This is a slightly improved version (i.e., with higher luminance contrast) of the palette used in Figure 4 of Stauffer et al. (2015, BAMS).

  • New flexible diverging palette Zissou 1 in divergingx_hcl(). This closely matches the palette of the same name in wesanderson. Note that this is rather unbalanced, has relatively low luminance contrasts and uses very high chroma throughout.

  • New palette Cividis in divergingx_hcl() approximating the palette of the same name from the viridis family. While luminance increases monotonically from dark to light in the palette (thus indicating a sequential and not a diverging palette), the hue and chroma trajectories resemble a diverging pattern. Therefore, the flexibility of divergingx_hcl() is needed and the palette could not be approximated by sequential_hcl().

  • Limits of hue axis are improved in specplot(). Previously, the hues were always matched to [0, 100] on the chroma/luminance axis. Now they are matched to [0, maximum chroma].

colorspace 1.4-0 2019-01-13

  • Major update of the package that enhances many of its capabilities, e.g., more refined palettes, named palettes, ggplot2 color scales, visualizations for assessing palettes, more and enhanced shiny and Tcl/Tk apps, color vision deficiency emulation, and much more. See below for further details. A new web site presenting and documenting the package has been launched at

  • Claus O. Wilke and Claire D. McWhite joined the colorspace team, adding and enhancing various features, including (but not limited to) especially the color vision deficiency emulation, the ggplot2 palettes, and new shiny apps.

  • New function simulate_cvd() for simulating color vision deficiencies with convenience interfaces deutan(), protan(), and tritan().

  • New function hcl_palettes() to query pre-defined HCL-based palettes: qualitative, sequential (single-hue), sequential (multi-hue), diverging. The corresponding print(), plot(), and summary() methods can help to explore the palettes.

  • Pre-defined HCL palettes are taken from previous publications about colorspace as well as approximations from other packages (, CARTO, viridis, scico).

  • Users can also register their own custom color palettes for subsequent usage (within the same session) in qualitative_hcl(), sequential_hcl(), and diverging_hcl() using the register = "..." argument. To generally make such custom palettes available, a registration R code a la colorspace::qualitative_hcl(..., register = "myname") can be placed in the .Rprofile or similar startup scripts. Also the choose_color()/hclwizard() app allows to register palettes in the current session.

  • New and more flexible qualitative_hcl() palette function. This is similar to the old rainbow_hcl() but allows to use the pre-defined palettes and change the parameters more easily.

  • Palette function sequential_hcl() is now substantially more flexible: encompasses both single-hue and multi-hue palettes; gained a new parameter cmax for non-monotonic chroma paths. Parameters h1, h2, c1, c2, l1, l2, p1, p2, cmax allow to easily modify existing palettes in just a few HCL parameters.

  • Function diverging_hcl() is introduced as a copy of diverge_hcl() for a more consistent naming of the *_hcl palettes where * is one of the adjectives “qualitative”, “sequential”, and “diverging”. Both diverging_hcl() and diverge_hcl() now also gained a cmax argument just like sequential_hcl(). Individual parameters h1, h2, c1, l1, l2, p1, p2 can also be easily modified.

  • New functions divergingx_hcl()/divergex_hcl() have been added for fully fle_x_ible diverging palettes (as opposed to the more restricted balanced palettes in diverging_hcl()/diverge_hcl()). These support parameters h1, h2, h3, c1, c2, c3, l1, l2, l3, p1, p2, p3, p4, cmax1, cmax2.

  • Many new predefined palettes that facilitate close approximation of almost all palettes from, CARTO/rcartocolor, and viridis. Additionally, approximations to a few of Fabio Crameri’s scientific color maps (scico) are available as well.

  • New interactive shiny app hcl_color_picker() - or equivalently, choose_color() - for exploring HCL colors, and manually assembling individual colors or palettes. Douglas C. Wu (@wckdouglas) provided the original implementation for the color palette feature.

  • New functions lighten() and darken() for programatically lightening and darkening colors.

  • New convenience function swatchplot() that facilitates displaying color swatches to display and compare collections of color palettes.

  • specplot() gained an argument y=NULL to optionally display a second palette and compare their trajectories. By default, specplot() now only shows the HCL spectrum but not the RGB spectrum (rgb = FALSE) because it is mainly used for illustrating and comparing properties of HCL-based palettes.

  • New function hclplot() for visualizing trajectories of color palettes in two-dimensional HCL space projections.

  • New function demoplot() that makes the demonstration plots (map, heatmap, pie, lines, etc.) from the choose_palette()/hclwizard() app available outside the GUI on the command line.

  • Added a new function max_chroma() that (approximately) computes the maximum chroma possible for a given hue and luminance combination in HCL space.

  • Registration of C routines.

  • In LAB_to_XYZ conversion, replace decimal approximations with exact rational numbers (reported by Glenn Davis). Follows Bruce Lindbloom:

  • New function whitepoint() that can both query the current whitepoint and set it to a different value. By default CIE D65 with XYZ coordinates 95.047, 100.000, 108.883 is used. But it is possible to set another global whitepoint now, used for all conversions in the package (suggested by Glenn Davis).

  • Fixed a bug in desaturate() for named colors (such as "gray92") where erroneously the RGB() rather than sRGB() model was used internally.

  • Added argument desaturate(..., amount = 1) for optional partial desaturation.

colorspace 1.3-2 2016-12-14

  • Fixed error in as_HLS(), which was passing ans rather than color as the colour to convert (and that was producing not only wrong results, but random results because the values in ans were not initialized). Thanks to Thomas Julou for the report.

colorspace 1.3-1 2016-11-18

colorspace 1.3-0 2016-11-10

  • In addition to the Tcl/Tk-based GUI for choose_palette() there is now a shiny-based GUI. choose_palette() by default still uses the Tcl/Tk version while hclwizard() is a new wrapper that by default calls the new shiny version.

  • New function specplot() that converts a given palette in hex codes to RGB and HCL coordinates and visualizes their spectrum as a line plot.

  • hex2RGB() now omits the alpha channel (if any) in the hex colors provided.

colorspace 1.2-7 2016-10-11

  • Extended choose_palette() for sequential palettes with multiple hues: Now two palettes are included in the examples that are very close to “viridis” and “magma” from matplotlib in Python (also available in R via package viridis)

  • Changed Depends/Imports/Suggests to conform with current R CMD check.

colorspace 1.2-6 2015-03-11

  • Moved tcltk again from Imports to Suggests to facilitate usage of colorspace on platforms where tcltk is not available.

colorspace 1.2-5 2015-03-03

  • Changed Depends/Imports/Suggests to conform with current R CMD check.

colorspace 1.2-4 2013-09-30

  • Bug fix for choose_palette() when using palette functions with optional alpha channels.

colorspace 1.2-3 2013-09-16

  • Alpha channel is preserved in desaturate for named colors (especially "transparent" and NA). (Reported by Simon Potter.)

  • Added alpha argument for all palette functions (see ?rainbow_hcl).

  • Small fixups for R CMD check.

colorspace 1.2-2 2013-04-11

  • Names of colors are preserved in hex() and hex2RGB() now. (Reported by Richard Cotton.)

colorspace 1.2-1 2013-01-24

  • If a new version of the dichromat package (> 1.2-4) with tritan support is found, this is interfaced in choose_palette().

colorspace 1.2-0 2012-10-24

  • New Tcl/Tk-based GUI for choosing different types of palettes: qualitative (rainbow_hcl), single-hue sequential (sequential_hcl), multi-hue sequential (heat_hcl), and diverging (diverge_hcl). The GUI provides a wide collection of pre-stored palettes, easy manipulation of the corresponding arguments, illustration through a broad range of plot types (maps, heatmaps, variations of bar plots, scatter plots, and many more), emulation of desaturation and dichromatic vision, loading/saving palettes, etc.

  • Bug fix in polarLAB_to_LAB conversion.

  • All .Call() calls now with PACKAGE = "colorspace".

  • Added some simple tests based on the examples and vignette.

colorspace 1.1-1 2012-01-13

  • Added desaturate() function for removal of chroma in a given vector of colors.

  • Bug fix in HLS_to_RGB conversion for s == 0.

colorspace 1.1-0 2011-05-16

  • Added sRGB colorspace. (Existing RGB colorspace is linearized “sRGB”.)

  • Conversions to and from HSV and HSL can only occur from or to RGB or sRGB (because both HSV and HSL are relative colorspaces, meaning relative to a particular RGB colorspace). (Converting to or from RGB gives a different result compared to conversion to or from sRGB.)

  • All gamma parameters in all R-level functions have been deprecated. (The sRGB colorspace has implicit gamma.)

colorspace 1.0-1 2009-04-24

  • “Escaping RGBland” paper is now published Computational Statistics & Data Analysis as doi:10.1016/j.csda.2008.11.033. Citation and references updated accordingly.

colorspace 1.0-0 2008-11-21

  • New version to accompany the “Escaping RGBland” paper accepted for publication in Computational Statistics & Data Analysis, see citation("colorspace")

colorspace 0.97 2008-10-25

  • Moved color palettes from vcd to colorspace, including vignette("hcl-colors")

  • Added infrastructure for HLS color space

  • New CITATION file