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What is the HSL Color Model?


The HSL color model for graphic objects

The HSL color model for graphic objects

© Wendy Russell

HSL stands for Hue, Saturation, Lightness (or Luminosity) values of a color. By mixing the values of the three choices in different increments, a new color is the result.

HSL is a color format used mainly for webpages. This color model is based on how the viewer perceives the color. About.com's Guide to Web Design offers a more in-depth look at HSL colors.

In PowerPoint, you can adjust the HSL colors of a graphic object (or the slide background) by modifying the values of either hue, saturation or luminosity (or lightness) or any combination of them.

This example will format a graphic object and is done in the following manner.

  1. Right click on the graphic object on the slide to select it. A shortcut menu of options will appear.
  2. Choose Format Shape.... The Format Shape dialog box will appear.
  3. Select Fill in the left pane if it is not already selected.
  4. In the Color section, click the paint bucket icon to reveal color options.
  5. Choose More Colors....
  6. Click on the Custom tab if it is not already selected.
  7. Make sure that the Color model: is set to HSLand not RGB. If HSL is not the current selection, click the drop down arrow beside RGB and choose HSL.
  8. Note the entries for Hue: Sat: and Lum: listed beside each of those options.
  9. Type in specific numbers or adjust the entries using the up and down arrows beside each option. Watch the color preview change with each variance,
  10. When you achieve the desired color, click OK to apply and close the Colors dialog box.
  11. Click the Close button to close the Format Shape dialog box.

Related Article - What is the RGB Color Model?

Mary changed the HSL values of the slide background color so that it was a match to the company's logo.

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