View CSS Colours in Sublime Text with GutterColor

View CSS Colours in Sublime Text with GutterColor

At my jQueryTO talk I showed a new Sublime Text Package called GutterColor that allows you to view your CSS colours in your gutter.

Amazing! It works with plain CSS, SASS, Stylus or LESS. If you are any sort of front end developer, you probably want this right away! Unfortunately the install process is a little klunky as it relies on a lower-level program called ImageMagick to be installed on your computer. It's easy to do, just requires a handful of steps to get up and running.

TL;DR: brew or port install ImageMagick and set the path of your convert script in your GutterColor prefs.

Installing ImageMagick on OSX

So, we need ImageMagic to be installed on our computer. The easiest way to do this is with a package manager for your mac. If you already have homebrew or macports installed, you can simply type one of the following into your terminal:

brew install imagemagick


sudo port install ImageMagick

No idea what brew or macports is? You'll need to install that first before you can install ImageMagick. I recommend using HomeBrew. Simply open your terminal window (found in applications β†’ Utilities β†’ Terminal) and paste the following code in and hit enter:

ruby -e "$(curl -fsSL"

That will ask you for your computer's password and then take a few minutes to install homebrew.

Once that is complete, copy and paste this into your terminal as well:

brew install imagemagick

This will also take a few minutes to install, grab a coffee!

Finally, type the following into your terminal

which convert

This will return the location of your imagemagick convert script. Remember this. Skip the windows part and jump down to Setting up Sublime Text

Installing on Windows

Head on over to the ImageMagick website and download/install the option that works with your computer. If you download the wrong version, no worries, just try another version.

When installing, take note on the install path. You will need it later.

Once you have that installed, check if it worked by opening up the command prompt (start->cmd) and type convert. You should see a few hundred lines scroll across your screen.

Now, you need to find the path that it was installed to. Open windows exporer and find where it was installed to. This is probably something like c:/Program Files/ImageMagick-6.x.x.x We want to find the convert.exe file as below:

Setting up Sublime Text

First we need to go ahead and install the GutterColor package. You can do this via Package Control (Tools β†’ Command Palette β†’ Type install β†’ Search for GutterColor and hit enter).

As of right now, this package requires you to tell SublimeText where the convert script lives on your computer. Go to Sublime Text β†’ Preferences β†’ Package Settings β†’ GutterColor β†’ Preferences - User and paste the following code in there. Make sure to swap out the path if your which convert command returned something different.

{ "convert_path" : "/usr/local/bin/convert" }

In my experience, sublime required a few restarts before it started to work totally. If you see red squares in your gutter, it's helpful to look in the Sublime Console (view β†’ Show Console) to see if you can make sense of the errors.

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