Tutorial :How do I serialize a System.Windows.Media.Color object to an sRGB string?


I need to serialize a color used in a WPF application to a database. I'd like to use the sRGB values, because they're more familiar to those of us that have spent the last few years doing web development.

How can a get an ARGB string (like #FFFFFFFF) from a System.Windows.Media.Color object?

UPDATE: I was misled by the documentation on MSDN. As @Kris noted below, the documentation for the ToString() method is incorrect. Although it says that ToString() "creates a string representation of the color using the ScRGB channels", it will actually return a string in ARGB hex format if the color was created using the FromARGB() method. It's an undocumented feature, I suppose.

See http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ms606572.aspx


If you create your colors using either Color.FromRgb or Color.FromArgb instead of FromScRgb you should get a hex string result from ToString.

If you want to do it manually

string.Format("#{0:X2}{1:X2}{2:X2}{3:X2}", c.A, c.R, c.G, c.B);  

You can use int.Parse(,NumberStyles.HexNumber) to go the other way.

Note sRGB and scRGB refer to different color spaces, make sure your using the one you want.


You can also do it this way:

string myHex = new ColorConverter().ConvertToString(myColor);  


I created a struct to handle conversion and serialisation. It solves two problems for me: it is serialisable and it corrects the spelling ;)

[Serializable]  public struct Colour      {      public byte A;      public byte R;      public byte G;      public byte B;        public Colour(byte a, byte r, byte g, byte b)          {          A = a;          R = r;          G = g;          B = b;          }        public Colour(Color color)          : this(color.A, color.R, color.G, color.B)          {          }        public static implicit operator Colour(Color color)          {          return new Colour(color);          }        public static implicit operator Color(Colour colour)          {          return Color.FromArgb(colour.A, colour.R, colour.G, colour.B);          }      }  

Just use Colour where you would otherwise use System.Windows.Media.Color


If your purpose is to serialize to a file and deserialize back to the color object, I think you are better of to convert color to an Int32 and vice versa. It is no brainier to serialize/deserialize Int32. If this is your purpose, here is the code: Color To Int32:

        byte[] color = new byte[4];          color[0] = Color.B;          color[1] = Color.G;          color[2] = Color.R;          color[3] = Color.A;          Int32 intColor = System.BitConverter.ToInt32(color, 0);  

Int32 To Color:

byte[] bytes = System.BitConverter.GetBytes(intColor);  Color =new System.Windows.Media.Color(){B= bytes[0], G=bytes[1], R=bytes[2], A=bytes[3]};  


This answer is for GDI colors, and not WPF, so might not be much help.

You can get the HTML color string (and back) like this

System.Drawing.Color c = System.Drawing.ColorTranslator.FromHtml("#F5F7F8");  String strHtmlColor = System.Drawing.ColorTranslator.ToHtml(c);  

here is the MSDN documentation.


You can get the A, R, G and B values from a Color instance as bytes, so you just need to convert the bytes to hex and concatenate the hex values as strings.

byte[] to hex string


There is inbuild implementation for System.Windows.Media.Color toString() method which gives hexcode of the color.

Snippet from the class interface it self

        //          // Summary:          //     Creates a string representation of the color using the sRGB channels.          //          // Returns:          //     The string representation of the color. The default implementation represents          //     the System.Byte values in hex form, prefixes with the # character, and starts          //     with the alpha channel. For example, the System.Windows.Media.Color.ToString()          //     value for System.Windows.Media.Colors.AliceBlue is #FFF0F8FF.          public override string ToString();  

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